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Whitehall Township officials offer first glimpse of $18 million public safety building, municipal campus

Architects and construction professionals presented the latest renderings of the new $17.8 million Whitehall Township municipal campus and police station Monday night, showing off a design that embraces natural light with walls of windows that officials believe will be more welcoming and accessible to residents.Arif Fazil, president of D’Huy Engineering, presented an updated timeline and budget figures for the new building. The latest price tag, about $100,000 more than presented in November, includes $821,000 in contingency costs and $900,000 in expected furniture, technology and equipment needs for the facility.The new building will include a two-story addition that will replace the aging Whitehall police station, formerly an ambulance facility, on Lehigh Street. The rest of the municipal offices in the remainder of the building will get a massive makeover and renovation to create a safer, more user-friendly administration area. Among the big changes for residents will be a common area featuring a number of services, ranging from the zoning office to tax collector, promoting a more accessible stop for residents.Fazil said the township’s decision to renovate the existing building will save money. “Integrating everything onto the same campus will, I think, pay dividends,” Fazil said.Fazil believes the timeline for the project will ensure competitive bidding in the hopes of securing the best prices for the work. Bids will be advertised in December and approved by commissioners in February 2020.Construction for the first phase of the project, the construction of the public safety building, is slated for March 2020. The second phase, the renovation of the administrative piece of the campus, is scheduled for March 2021. If all goes according to plan, Fazil said the entire project should be wrapped up by December 2021.Jay Clough, with KCBA Architects, explained that the site work improvements on the campus will include a ring road and better access to the facility. The rear of the building, protected by an eight-foot tall fence, will accommodate parking for the police fleet and equipment, he said.Clough said there will also be solar panels on the site to take advantage of green energy and more than enough parking.Fazil said the latest figure for the project, at $17,835,363 should not require much tweaking or adjustment.“This is, at this point, a really comprehensive budget,” Fazil said.Morning Call reporter Sarah M. Wojcik can be reached at 610-778-2283 or
Source: Morningcall

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