Target budget for municipal building at $7M

This rendering shows what the exterior of the new Atlantic Beach public safety and administration complex, to be located on West Fort Macon Road, could look like. Architects with Raleigh-based Hobgood Architects presented the latest plans for the proposed two-story, 22,500-square-foot building to the town council during a recent work session. (Hobgood Architects graphic)

ATLANTIC BEACH — The town council gave architects the go-ahead recently to move forward on plans for the new public safety and administration complex to be located off West Forth Macon Road.

Patrick Hobgood with Hobgood Architects, the Raleigh-based firm tasked with designing the new building, presented the latest plans to the Atlantic Beach Council during a work session Thursday at the town hall boardroom. The plans included elevations, renderings and floor layouts, though Mr. Hobgood said architects are still working on some final details.

“In terms of the design, we’re kind of really excited and happy with it,” he said.

The council gave architects their OK to proceed with the plans as presented. Mr. Hobgood said the next step is to get all the consultants on board and begin finalizing details such as materials and layouts.

The building will be a two-story complex to house the fire and police departments, town administration offices and a council boardroom. The latest plans have the building at 22,500 square feet, slightly less than architects previously presented.

According to the plans, the boardroom will be on the first floor of the building with its own entrance. It will feature 11-foot-high ceilings, raised council seats at the front of the room and audience seating.

“The footprint stays pretty close, the capacity is almost the same, but the ceiling height is a little higher, which will be nice,” Mr. Hobgood said.

Also on the first floor is space for the town planning department, parks and recreation, finance department and other administrative offices, as well as some conference rooms and storage. The fire department equipment bay is located to the north of the building and is connected to the main structure.

Offices for the police and fire departments are also located on the first floor, while living quarters, a kitchen, gym, storage and break rooms are on the second floor. There are also detective offices, interview rooms and assorted conference rooms upstairs, but Mr. Hobgood said architects are still working on the final orientation of rooms for the fire department.

“We’re still playing with the configuration. You’ve got the bunk room, two captain offices and sleeping quarters and then a TV, communal space, dining space, large open bar at the kitchen for eating, and they get this outdoor terrace, as well,” he said.

As for the building’s appearance, Mr. Hobgood said it is meant to resemble surrounding structures while still being identifiable as a municipal building. The complex is located near a residential area, and the council expressed they wanted the new building to blend in with the “beach cottage” look of nearby buildings.

“We had this initial sketch of how to make a 23,000-square-foot building look residential, or (like) a cottage,” Mr. Hobgood said. “…I think with this (design) we’re really happy with the scale of the building and how it blends with the neighborhood behind it.”

The firm also wants to attach a plant screen to the fire station garage and plant vegetation on the roof terrace and on the grounds, although those additions will depend on final costs.

“We are very skeptical we can afford to do a cool green roof, but we love the floating landscape of the second floor,” Mr. Hobgood said. “Some of these things we’ll make some concessions with, but at this moment, everybody is really excited about the project.”

The council, too, seemed happy with the designs presented and gave the firm the OK to proceed with the plans.

The final price of the new building will not be known until the architects make final decisions on materials and other details, but the town has set a target budget around $7 million. Mr. Hobgood said the final price can change significantly based on several factors, but with a 20% contingency, it could be anywhere from about $7.4 to $7.85 million.   

“When we start to look at actual products and know what they cost per square foot, we will make tighter renderings where we can see what that will look like,” he said.

One lingering decision the council settled Thursday was to install a commercial-grade heating and air conditioning system rather than 12 residential units. That adds about $300,000 to the overall project cost, but the council said it is worth it to have an adequate system with a backup generator.

 If all goes according to plan, the latest timeline has design development wrapping up in September and construction documentation taking place October through January. Bidding is scheduled to open next February, and officials hope to break ground by April 2020. Construction is expected to last about a year, so officials hope the new complex is complete by spring 2021.

Contact Elise Clouser at; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

(10) comments


This picture looks nothing like the surrounding properties as it has 4 slant roofed buildings on top of a large plain structure. If the slant roofs are for solar panels , I support that idea. However, but considering the amt of rain we receive, where will the water drain from those 4 separate buildings except onto the roof of the structure upon which they are built? Mr. Hobgood said: "the building’s appearance is meant to resemble surrounding structures while still being identifiable as a municipal building. The council expressed they wanted the new building to blend in with the “beach cottage” look of nearby buildings." My eyes and brain do not see anything in this presentation which fulfills the wish for beach cottage appearance, nor any resemblance to any surrounding properties.

Core Sounder

apparently our dedicated gov employees of Carteret County only accept the very best that taxpayer's dollars can buy. Since the architects get paid 10% of the total construction cost of all public buildings in NC is it any wonder the cost are so high. Wonder why it is that our state passed a law many many years ago requiring that all public buildings priced over 2,000 have their own architect plan and must be pay 10% of the total price.




Its only money, just not theirs! [beam]


How the heck does AB have 7 million to spend on this?? Ridiculous


That building doesn't blend in with the surrounding architecture or even look beach like. It looks like an industrial factory.

David Collins

How does AB have the money for this, you ask? Why, it is through the power of taxation. Yup, the age old honorable power to levy ever increasing tax burdens upon the great unwashed. It is also called “ legacy building “ and in this case a legacy with a totally improper roof system. Talk about asking for trouble. I call it a designers misconception. Of course , as has been mentioned earlier, the architect fee is based on the cost of the project. Anyone privy to the degree of opulence specified for the interior? You know, hot tubs, saunas, gourmet kitchens and the like. Certainly the building will have to be named/dedicated in the name of some lucky soul. Won’t it?


Atlantic Beach should build a sewer plant first in my opinion . Then the Beach could really grow and generate big Tax dollars . But that's using to much common sense .

Core Sounder

looks like some kid designed it using their lego set

Jack Mackerel

You've got to be kidding ! Funny, just 6 years ago they tried to sneak through a $4 million dollar Town Hall and almost had a riot at the next Town Council meeting (and it became next to impossible to find any council member who would admit to having ever supported the boondoggle in the first place) . So, they wait 6 years, run the uncooperative "rowdies" out of town, import some "more docile" residents, and double down on the ante. $5,250 PER TOWN RESIDENT COST for new workplaces and offices of a mayor, council, and administrators who are blessed with the best natural setting on the NC coast but have overseen no resident growth, and nothing but commercial and tourism decay for almost 20 years ?!?! Atlantic Beach municipal planning and development since 2000 has been the most convoluted episode of municipal planning incompetence since the Three Stooges were in their heyday,

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