Salisbury hires local firm for fiber-optic center design, construction
By Mark Wineka
KKA Architecture of Salisbury won a $280,000 contract Tuesday to design and serve as construction manager for a $4 million fiber-optic cable operations facility.
The building also will provide the home for the city’s Technology Services Division and a new city of Salisbury customer service center.
Salisbury City Council approved the contract for the architectural firm, headed by Karen Alexander.
A preliminary budget also calls for inclusion of a garage/shop to house trucks and store inventory. Together, the planned facilities would encompass more than 20,000 square feet.
The city will be building the new center on a 4.5-acre tract at South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Harris Street.
It will be built using “green” principles but won’t necessarily be certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.
If the project comes in over the total budget of $4 million, Alexander will make changes as necessary to bring the project in budget without charging the city any additional fees.
KKA Architecture has been the city’s architect for the Police Department’s renovations and addition and Salisbury Fire Station No. 4 on Statesville Boulevard.
Management Services Director John Sofley said both of those projects were within budget and on time.
Salisbury has embarked on construction of a $30 million fiber-optic cable utility to offer telephone, television and Internet services.
The facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue will be a head-end facility for all the utility’s equipment. It will house staff related to the new business.
The city’s current customer service center, which handles billing and questions related to Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, is located at the old City Hall at 132 N. Main St. It will move to the new location, where staff also will help customers of the cable utility.
The Technology Services Division also will be moved from the old City Hall to the new site, meaning most of the city’s computer servers and equipment will be at one location.
City divisions now located in the former Zimmerman’s Department Store building in the 100 block of North Main Street will move to the vacated space at 132 N. Main St.
Sofley said the Zimmerman’s building could be sold or kept for future use.
Councilman Bill Burgin said he was glad the city could hire a local architect and predicted Alexander would face a challenging job.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.