McCoart to expand to fit staff

Prince William’s central county complex, outgrown long ago by the county staff, will be doubled in size by a $27.8 million expansion over the next 18 months.

The 100,000-square-foot building will be located behind the McCoart Administration Center with the intention of creating a plaza between McCoart and the Owens Building.

The parking spaces behind McCoart will be replaced in an undetermined location further behind McCoart this summer, said Assistant Public Works Director Thomas Bruun.

The intention is to complete the expansion by fall 2005, he said.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors awarded a $1.7 million design contract to Centerbrook Architects last week, one of 18 firms that had responded to a request for proposals last November.

The Prince William County Public Works Department is located in leased office space at the Ridgewood Center east of McCoart on Prince William Parkway. The Public Works Department along with planning and development staff in McCoart and the front-counter functions for site development permits, zoning approvals and other land-use permits will go in the new building, he said.

“The space needs in the mid-county area have just been growing. It just makes sense rather than to continue to lease, to buy your own,” Bruun said.

County staff have continually been shuffled around the 78,000-square-foot McCoart building to deal with lack of space. Most recently the human resources department was relocated to Ridgewood to make space for communications staff, who were moved from other areas to make room for other staff.

Relocating planning and zoning into the new building will free up 21,000 square feet of space for county executive, human resources, the finance department, and other central administrative departments, Bruun said.

A groundbreaking is expected this fall.

Staff writer Chris Newman can be reached at (703) 878-8062.