Converting former Family Maternity Center for EMS said too costly

by Audrey Thomasson

LANCASTER—By consensus, Lancaster supervisors last week put an end to the idea of converting the Family Maternity Center building to an operations center for Emergency Management Services (EMS).

The existing building’s limitations and costs associated with acquiring the property and renovating it, appeared to far outweigh any benefits.

Tom Tingle of the Williamsburg-based architectural firm of Guernsey Tingle evaluated the site and facility and projected costs for conversion at $3.063 million, or about $258 per square foot. He said the 7-year-old building has too many limitations and needs too much work to make it operational for EMS.

In addition to acquiring the property from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, some adjoining property would have to be purchased in order to meet the additional needs of EMS, he said. Costs were estimated at $860,000 for property acquisition, $250,000 for site construction, $1,162,200 for building renovation and $790,600 for additions, including apparatus bays and elevators, according to Tingle.

“In addition to the cost, there would be compromises in the function of the station due to the limitations of the layout and structure of the existing building and site,” said Guernsey Tingle senior vice president Andrew Cronan.

He noted the facility was constructed more in line with a residence and not an emergency facility with the capabilities to withstand high winds.

“We would need to strengthen the structure from residential with it’s 2-by-4 stud construction,” said Cronan. “We’d have to replace the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, generator, elevator,” and take out and replace the driveway for the heavier weight emergency vehicles. “At the end of the day, you’d still be dealing with seven-year-old elements and columns in the way.”

Tingle suggested they build a new facility on a corner of the 30-acre county owned parcel on Mary Ball and Pinkardsville roads. “But away from the intersection,” he said. He gave a rough estimate of $240 to $270 per square foot for new construction, based on other contracts under way.

The company will present a conceptual design for a new facility to supervisors in late February.

In other business, supervisors accepted the abstract of votes for the November election, and approved a request from RAS Ventures LLC/ Ryan and Alison Adler to replace an existing single-story structure with a two-story structure on a 0.47 acre parcel at 159 BayView Drive in the Corrotoman by the Bay subdivision.

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