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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

New building planned for Pine Ridge police facility in Annandale

An illustration of the proposed police facility. 
The Mason District Land Use Committee raised some concerns Nov. 25 about a proposed total reconstruction and expansion of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Pine Ridge Operation and Support Bureau.

That facility, at 3911 Woodburn Road in Annandale, houses the K-9 department, SWAT team, bomb squad, motor squad, traffic control, crash investigation unit, DUI enforcement, parking enforcement, marine office, safety officer, and 911 backup center.

The existing facility was built in 1969 as an elementary school and was renovated for the police in 1985. “It’s outlived its useful life as a police department,” said Scott Bishop, of the design and construction division in the Fairfax County Public Works and Environmental Services Department.

Funding for the $33.6 million project is covered by a public safety bond referendum passed by voters in 2015.

The proposed layout for the new Pine Ridge facility.
The plan calls for the main building and vehicle bays to be demolished. The 911 center, which is in a separate building, would remain as is, with a new building constructed around it. The backup 911 call center is only activated if something happens to the main 911 center on W. Ox Road but needs to stay open.

The buildings that would be demolished total 43,702 square feet. The new building and smaller structures would total 50,350 square feet. Staffing levels would be the same, at about 89 to 100.

According to Bishop, the current facility is inadequate because it doesn’t meet FCPD requirements for dual ingress/egress, has obsolete structural systems, has mechanical systems nearing the end of their lives, and lacks stormwater controls.

The county plans to relocate the vehicle bays – used for crash reconstruction, evidence investigations, and light maintenance, such as fixing lights and windshield wipers – as well as the parking lots.

Robert Eckert, who lives on Woodbine Lane next to the Pine Ridge complex, said “this came as a shock to us. We had no idea it would be expanded this much. It’s right in my backyard.”

He raised concerns about noise and oppressive lighting and said the new buildings would block his view of Winterset Varsity Park. The park and athletic field would be closed during construction.

Members of the MDLUC questioned why the county couldn’t use a temporary facility during the construction process instead of relocating the main building. MDLUC chair Daniel Aminoff asked the county to come up with information about the cost of a temporary facility and an explanation of why this project is taking so long – it’s been four years since the bond was passed.

Construction could start in winter 2021, and the building could be occupied in 2023, Bishop said. The plan calls for the existing building to remain open while the new one is constructed.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea to improve the police department facilities. It has very few neighboring houses and it is already a good neighbor.