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Brentwood Council presented multiple options for housing borough offices

| Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 2:39 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Brentwood Borough Manager George Zboyovsky stands near a line of small throw rugs covering broken asbestos tile in the municipal building's ballroom in July 2015. The tiles are just one of the issues at the aging building. There have been a number of talks and studies done over the years about relocating offices or building a new municipal building.
Kristina Serafini | Trib Total Media
Brentwood Borough Assistant Director of Public Works and borough engineer Vitali Alexandrov talks Thursday, July 23, 2015 about part of a window frame that fell inside the engineering department following heavy rains in June. Several of the windows on the municipal building's second floor show water damage. There have been a number of talks and studies done over the years about relocating offices or building a new municipal building. Borough Manager George Zboyovsky said it would be costly—about $8 million—to renovate the existing structure.
Kristina Serafini | Trib Total Media
Brentwood Borough Manager George Zboyovsky stands near a large crack in the wall—that you can see through to the outside—in one of the municipal building's stairwells as he talks about many of the issues there Thursday, July 23, 2015. There have been a number of talks and studies done over the years about relocating offices or building a new municipal building. Zboyovsky said it would be costly—about $8 million—to renovate the existing structure.
Kristina Serafini | Trib Total Media
The outside world can be seen through a large crack in the wall in one of the stairwells inside Brentwood Municipal Building Thursday, July 23, 2015. There have been a number of talks and studies done over the years about relocating offices or building a new municipal building. Borough Manager George Zboyovsky said it would be costly—about $8 million—to renovate the existing structure.
Kristina Serafini | Trib Total Media
Brentwood Borough Manager George Zboyovsky looks at water damage inside the municipal building's finance office Thursday, July 23, 2015. There have been a number of talks and studies done over the years about relocating offices or building a new municipal building. Zboyovsky said it would be costly—about $8 million—to renovate the existing structure.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Workers erect scaffolding in front of the Brentwood Borough municipal building as they get set to make repairs to the facade Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. After nearly two decades of studies, Brentwood leaders agreed to some outside repairs after a contractor warned that limestone was breaking free from the building.

To build or to rent?

Brentwood Council members are weighing the options for the future of the borough's municipal facilities.

Council members, in a special meeting Monday, heard several options for relocating the borough's administrative offices, police department and council chambers.

They also heard about some of the associated costs.

“We're really looking at ‘Where do we go,'” council President John Frombach said.

Numerous studies have been done on the borough's Brownsville Road municipal building, constructed in the 1920s and renovated several times, said Matthew Franz, vice president of HHSDR Architects/Engineers.

Required repairs and upgrades to the building, which include a roof replacement, fixing exterior walls that have shifted from the framework, removing asbestos, new electrical work, making the building handicap-accessible and adding fire protection, which is “nonexistent,” Franz said, would cost about $6 million.

Franz presented options to move from the existing municipal building to Brentwood Towne Square and enter a lease with Echo Development, using three vacant storefronts and 8,172 square feet of space on the lower level. This would cost about $1.3 million for design, bidding, furniture and other costs, not including leasing.

Another option would be to move the Brentwood police department into a portion of the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Co. station on Brownsville Road and the administrative office and council chambers into Brentwood Towne Square, using two vacant storefronts and 6,192 square feet of space. This would cost about $1.5 million, not including leasing costs, Franz said.

Renovations to the Brentwood Civic Center to relocate the administrative operations there, while moving the police department to the fire station, would cost about $2.3 million, he said.

Each option had its pros and cons, from tight space to leasing agreements, Franz said.

Representatives from Schneider Downs Corporate Finance and Massaro Design Build presented a proposed project to build a new municipal facility at the site of the former Snee Dairy building in the 3700 block of Brownsville Road. The proposal, presented to the borough in 2014 by Summa Development, which later pulled out of the project when borough leaders failed to make a decision, would include an estimated 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot building that would be leased to the borough and built to meet its needs, said Shawn Fox, director of real estate development for Schneider Downs.

“It's a partnership with you. It's your building,” he said.

Borough leaders now will take numbers from each project and have the PFM Group review the proposed costs to see what is affordable, Frombach said.

“Any one of our options have us vacating this building, as opposed to just staying here and letting it fall down on our heads,” he said.

That means the site of the current municipal building could be redeveloped, leaders said.

Councilman Pat Carnevale said Brentwood EMS, which is in the current borough building, needs to be a part of the future facility.

“They should come with us,” he said.

Mayor Dennis Troy said the best project likely would be the lease agreement with Schneider Downs for the Snee Dairy site.

“This approach really provides a tremendous opportunity to redevelop this corridor,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to think big.”

Still, much needs to be decided.

“There's a lot to look at. Where do we get the money?” Carnevale said. “Everybody's going to have to start sitting down and making up their own minds on where they want to go with this.”

Council members agreed they need to make a decision.

“We can't sit here for another 10, 11 or 12 years and do nothing,” Frombach said. “I would like to see something before I leave this Earth.”

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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