Town of Nags Head to break ground on new Public Services complex

Published 12:39 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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After extensive planning, construction of the Town of Nags Head’s new Public Services complex is slated to begin in early April.

Located on Lark Avenue at the end of Eighth Street, the current Public Services complex is home to six divisions, representing a third of the town’s personnel, who provide sanitation, water operations/distribution, facilities maintenance, fleet maintenance, bulk waste collection and streets and stormwater services.

“We’re excited to move forward with this project as it’s been a board priority and part of our strategic plan for the past two years,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “While the current facilities have served us well, they have become operationally obsolete and have reached the end of their useful life. Public Services is a critical department, not only because of the daily services they provide, but also due to their role in storm preparation and response. It is paramount that Public Services has the facilities and resources it needs to operate smoothly and efficiently.”

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The project entails construction of approximately 35,000 square feet of indoor space and includes a combined fleet maintenance, sanitation and facilities maintenance building, a new water distribution shop with offices, an administrative building for staff and public use, storage areas for vehicles and equipment, new fueling and vehicle cleaning areas and a redesigned bulk waste, brush disposal and recycling drop off site for the public.

“During the design of the project, we took care to cost-effectively address current needs while creating operational efficiencies. We also wanted to make sure we anticipated future growth and services,” said town manager Andy Garman. “The design included certain environmental considerations; we used a low-impact development approach to stormwater management and addressed energy efficiency through a solar photovoltaic system serving the entire complex.”

The anticipated lifespan of the new complex is approximately 60 years. Elements of the design include:

  • Use of permeable pavement systems to enhance infiltration and reduce stormwater runoff.
  • Strategic preservation of trees and open space and minimization of impervious coverage through compact building design to create a hydrologically functional landscape.
  • Installation of photovoltaic systems (solar panels) on our division operations buildings, which are expected to result in net zero energy usage.
  • Electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure for future EV charging stations.
  • Adaptability for rainwater harvesting and water reuse elements.
  • Improved circulation and drop off facilities for the public at the new bulk/brush site.

First on the timeline will be the construction of a new administration building. Now located on the west side of Lark Avenue, the new facility will be relocated on the property where the town’s bulk item/brush collection yard stands now. Operation of the collection yard is expected to continue while much of the construction in the area is underway; however, there may be short periods of time when the yard may need to be closed for the public’s safety.

The remaining buildings will be constructed on the west side of Lark Avenue and Pond Avenue. The town will do its best to ensure operations continue without disruption during construction, noted a Town of Nags Head press release. Drivers in the area should expect significant construction traffic along Eighth Street, Lark Avenue and Pond Avenue over the next 18 months or so.

A.R. Chesson Construction, with offices in Manteo, will be the general contractor for the project construction, with a lump sum contract amount of $14,494,000. The design team was led by Oakley Collier Architects of Rocky Mount.

To finance the project, the town issued limited obligation bonds. During this process, the town demonstrated a strong financial position and creditworthiness, receiving an Aa1 issuer rating from Moody’s Investor Service for its first bond rating. Issuing bonds for this project allows for extended financing terms and more competitive interest rates.

The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place April 5, 2023 at 12:15 p.m. at 2200 Lark Avenue. Parking will be available along the roadway shoulder of Lark Avenue.