Sat, April 13, 2024

Cost doubles for CSRA Public Safety HQ

Businesses and taxpayers are footing the bill for an extra $10 Million plus of cost overruns in North Augusta—but the people who keep everyone safe say it couldn’t be avoided.

After years of discussion and debate, officials held a groundbreaking ceremony, Friday at the site of the new public safety headquarters. Discussions for the building started more than eight years ago. Not until 2020, did the city move forward in earnest.

The original plan was to build on East Buena Vista Avenue near the current headquarters. The cost was estimated at $12 million to $14 million. However, site preparation and construction cost estimates for that location increased by $850,000. Coupled with concern, the original site didn’t have room for future expansion if needed, which prompted changing the location to build on Georgia Avenue at the old Flythe/Seven Gables property.


Today, the price tag for the new 37,000-square-foot public safety building is estimated to be $25 million.

“This is something that’s waited too long, and we have no control of the cost. I mean, it’s just the cost of where we are. You build a house today, anything is going to be expensive,” Mayor Briton Williams said. “But the bottom line is, our current facilities are in dire condition. We are growing as a community and our public safety has to be in the best location with the best facilities to continue what they do to take care of our citizens.”

Mayor Williams was joined at the site by councilmembers and Police Chief, John Thomas.

Williams said the final cost of the project was also impacted by Covid supply chain issues and rising inflation. When complete, the building will house the North Augusta police department, 911 dispatch, and emergency operations center. It will also include a new courtroom and office space for court employees. In addition to parking areas, there will be green space outside including a possible memorial site.

Hood Construction of Columbia, SC has been selected as the contractor for the project. Charles Stuart, vice president of the company, said he anticipates construction will begin in about four weeks. Subcontractors interested in working on the project can contact the company.

“It’s got to be local subcontractors. So, we’ve been able to get good involvement from the local community,” Stuart said.

Williams said getting local participation was important for the project.

“They are going to go through a process of meeting with subcontractors in trying to use as many local people as possible,” Williams said, “My guess is we’re going to have plenty of work.”

The target completion for the North Augusta public safety headquarters is December 2025.

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