Thoughts on Renting/Leasing Marshall Center
Over the course of the last few Board of Supervisor meetings, close to a dozen citizens have come forward to voice their concerns regarding the discussion of the 78-year-old Marshall Center, formerly Spotsylvania High School, being sold or leased by the County. The Marshall Center is located at 8802 Courthouse Road Spotsylvania, VA 22553.
The driving force behind these discussions are two-fold. First, several Spotsylvania Departments are in critical need of additional office space and others will be in the near future to maintain the level of services we currently enjoy. Second, the Marshall Center renovations have been estimated to cost roughly 10 million dollars to retrofit for office space and upgrade the electric and HVAC systems. This comes to a cost of roughly $540 per square foot. In comparison, the recently constructed Public Safety Building was $263 per square foot according to the County Administrator.
As far as a possible revenue stream, the County Administrator suggested in May 2017 that leasing the Marshall Center could draw 30,000 dollars per month, which would cover the debt service on 6.3 million dollars (new office building).
Based on the information that is publicly available, my stance is that the estimated cost of renovating the Marshall Center for office space is not very cost effective. I would not be in favor of retrofitting it to make use of additional office space. Second, I think the benefits of having citizens gathering to play cards, pickleball or other activities are too great to displace. To spread out these activities to new locations around the county could upset a social balance that brings companionship and enjoyment to seniors. I believe having these activities at one central County location is important to maintain.
I do recognize the need for more office space and that the citizens voted this referendum measure down in 2014. Perhaps in 2014, this area was not advocated strongly enough by Supervisors to their constituents on the importance and need for this extra office space to maintain County functions. Nonetheless the community activities, particularly ones for residents more susceptible to isolation, should not be leveraged or altered due to poor advocacy or planning on the part of our leaders.
Click here to read the full Free Lance Star Article.
Click here to review the County presentation from May 23, 2017 to the Board of Supervisors on Capital projects, that includes information on the Marshall Center.
Click here to review the discussion from the May 23rd board of Supervisors meeting. See minute marker 31:12.