West Chester government building getting nearly $300K facelift

Credit: Eric Schwartzberg

Credit: Eric Schwartzberg

The West Chester Twp. trustees have approved almost $300,000 for an administration center facelift, but they won’t be using residential taxpayer dollars to do it.

The township received eight bids for the project to refresh the entire building and install security in the 34-year-old building on Cincinnati Dayton Road in Olde West Chester. The highest price was $366,644 and the trustees accepted the low bid of $240,365 from Kramer & Feldman Inc. plus a $48,073 contingency fee.

The township will use funds from the Union Centre Boulevard tax increment financing (TIF) district to pay for the project rather than general fund tax dollars. Assistant Township Administrator Lisa Brown said the project touches just about every inch of the building from new flooring, to paint and especially some essential security features in the lobby area.

“This is just to modernize our look. The building was built in 1985 and we want to be responsible while also reflecting who we are now as a township,” Brown said. “It will just be reflecting who we are now, our new branding and colors and ideas while maintaining fiscal responsibility.”

The contractor will install a new “storefront type glass wall” at the reception desk in the lobby with a sliding door. There will also be some modifications to the dias where the trustees sit during their meetings. Those are the only construction-type projects the rest of the work is a “refresh” that includes tearing off old wallpaper, fresh paint, new flooring and lighting and other electrical work.

Trustee Mark Welch said the timing of the expenditure might seem a little odd, given the current coronavirus crisis, but the project has been in the works for more than a year and “we just now pulled the trigger."

“We’ve been planning on this for a year and unfortunately COVID hit,” Welch said. “At this time the township’s revenue has not been impacted because we’re based upon property taxes. Yeah there is a decline in hotel tax hopefully that comes back but our primary source of revenue which is property taxes has remained steady.”

Brown said the work will begin in a couple weeks and the 21 employees who work there will remain in the building while the work is done. The township might have to relocate some meetings while work is done on the meeting room. The work is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, if all goes according to plan.

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