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Architects Preview New Police Station

Police station project enters design and development phase.

The Fairfax City Council gave Moseley Architects the go-ahead to enter the design and development stage for the proposed new police station, at its Feb. 24 work session.

With the green light for the police station rendering, the architects will be able to develop a more detailed design that will incorporate engineering studies as well as help determine project costs.

"I'm very pleased with how it looks, and I look forward to seeing it continue," said Councilmember Gail Lyon.

The proposed police station, as well as the proposed expansion and addition of City Hall, is part of a $20 million project funded by the November 2001 bond referendum.

The renderings, not drawn to scale, depict the new police station at the John C. Wood Complex on Old Lee Highway. It will be a two-story building with a one-story attachment.

Fairfax mayor Rob Lederer asked project manager and architect Elliott Law if the roof of the drawing depicts a tall building. Law replied that the roof is supposed to be sloping away from the viewer.

After viewing the drawings of the police station, Councilmembers viewed the design for the City Hall expansion and addition. While Councilmembers also approved this set of drawings, a few had questions about the project.

In response to Councilmember Scott Silverthorne, assistant city manager Vivian Baltz said the construction of the City Hall addition would be timed with the police station's construction because the bidding costs would be cheaper.

Councilmembers Joan Cross and Gail Lyon questioned whether the glass connection between the current building and the new addition could look more traditional. Lederer suggested that feedback could be fixed when the architects tweak the final design.

Construction on the police station and the City Hall extension could begin in January 2005, with possible completion in spring 2006. At that time, the City Hall renovation will begin, with a scheduled completion in December 2006.

After discussing the police station and City Hall drawings, city transportation director Alexis Verzosa gave the results of the Central Fairfax Bypass Study.

Verzosa said the bypass would be effective in alleviating traffic on Route 123 only if two bypasses were created: one connecting Waples Mill Road to Jermantown Road and one extending Government Center Parkway to Jermantown Road.

If only one bypass were to be created, it would not ease traffic congestion on Route 123.

The findings answer the question that had been posed by the city, Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in 1997, when the three bodies worked together to conduct a feasibility study.

The city conducted its own preliminary engineering study in 2001.

"The only other options are telecommuting, mass transit, and encouraging people to use other modes of transportation," said Silverthorne, on hearing the findings.

City staff will finalize the report, distribute it to the county and VDOT, and present it at the next city/county meeting. The findings may be relevant to the county, which still holds a proffer to extend Government Center Parkway to Jermantown Road.

THE CITY COUNCIL also discussed the following items:

* The Council applauded the city's Planning Commission on revising the 1997 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan will go into final revisions, a public hearing and another work session before adoption.

* The Council unanimously approved a resolution that supports the Enhancement Fund Grant Application for Blenheim. The $200,000 to $300,000 grant, administered through VDOT, would help fund components of the Blenheim project that pertain to historic preservation and transportation, such as pedestrian pathways connected to CUE bus routes.

* The council unanimously approved appropriating $200,000 to amend the existing contract with Patton, Harris, Rust & Associates for design services for the George Mason Boulevard Project. The design services, most of which will be reimbursed by federal funds, would update traffic analysis data and VDOT policies, study noise abatement, and create a design and site plan for Eleven Oaks. These design services would bring the George Mason Boulevard Project closer to completion.

* The Council unanimously approved appropriating $28,000 for the marketing and communication program proposed by the Lee Highway Task Force. The program would help outreach to existing property owners and businesses along the Lee Highway corridor, with the ultimate goal being to revitalize the area.

* The Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a settlement agreement with Artery Custom Homes LLC and Metropolitan Land Co. LLC, arising out of prior litigation.