Fenwick Island breaks ground for public safety building


Fenwick Island got a fast start on its new public safety building. Town ordinances prevent some types of construction before Labor Day, so officials broke ground early on Tuesday, Sept. 6, quickly making way for the builders to begin the construction of the new structure.

Coastal Point •  R. Chris Clark: Diane Tingle, Todd Smallwood, Chief Bill Boyden, Bill Weistling, Mayor Audrey Serio, Coleman Bunting, Gene Langan, Alvin French, Pat Schuchman and Vicki Carmean throw out the first shovel load of soil at Fenwick Island’s ground breaking for the new public safety building.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark
Diane Tingle, Todd Smallwood, Chief Bill Boyden, Bill Weistling, Mayor Audrey Serio, Coleman Bunting, Gene Langan, Alvin French, Pat Schuchman and Vicki Carmean throw out the first shovel load of soil at Fenwick Island’s ground breaking for the new public safety building.

The facility will serve as a headquarters for police and beach patrol members, the latter of whom currently meet in a shed behind town hall.

The Fenwick Island Police Department currently shares office space with town hall’s administrative offices, and Police Chief William Boyden said security is an issue.

“We’ve been working in a closet,” Boyden said, noting that there is no separate room to interview people, and detainees sit on a bench near employee lockers.

Apart from giving the lifeguards and police some legroom, the new public safety building will serve the town in other emergency situations, such as a hurricane.

Mayor Audrey Serio said the building will have “state-of-the-art wiring and communications.”

The building will be one story, but has design potential for a future second-floor addition, according to Council Member Bill Weistling.

At 3,400 square feet, the freestanding structure will be tucked behind town hall, between the town park and the existing public works building.

The tight quarters does not provide the easiest of access for builders, but the project should be a fairly standard build, according to architect Alvin French of French and Ryan and C. Coleman Bunting Jr., president of Bunting Construction Corporation, which is doing the construction.

Bunting estimated a construction schedule of 210 days, so the project should be finished by April or May.