Calvert County Commissioners
Chesapeake Beach, MD – In prepared remarks delivered Wednesday morning, July 18 during a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event, Calvert County Commissioners’ President Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr. [R – District 3] addressed the controversy the current has been dealing with for most of the year—a plan to construct a multi-million-dollar government office building at Armory Square. The project has been deemed necessary due to the local Circuit Court’s expansion, office spaces issues at the County Services Plaza and concerns that leasing office space long term would not be a cost-effective strategy. Constructing the facility at Armory Square would virtually remove county government from Prince Frederick’s Main Street area.

Slaughenhoupt delivered his address—the State of the County—at the Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant in Chesapeake Beach. He stated the county “must construct the new county administration building at Armory Square unless somebody has found a new way to grow land on Main Street. Move county staff into the new building, permitting the sheriff’s office to relocate to a refurbished building—currently the County Services Plaza. Most importantly, given the time criticality of vacating the courthouse, the construction of the new county administration building at Armory Square must begin first. The rest of the construction and moves would be lined up within the Capital Improvement Plan [CIP], scheduling also the likes of two new fire houses, new library in North Beach and a replacement for the elementary school in Chesapeake Beach. Given the time needed for architectural and engineering on these various projects, now is the time to begin the county administration building at Armory Square. Our space problems have lingered for years without a solution and this board of county commissioners began the process to solve the problem.”

Slaughenhoupt further noted that county government workers are scattered at 11 different facilities in Prince Frederick and leased office space costs “nearly $357,000 annually and the costs continue to increase. Just as the county in general has grown, so have the demands from citizens for more efficient and convenient access to county services. We have an opportunity to implement a comprehensive approach that solves the space problem, improves services to customers and increases efficiency and productivity while enhancing the vibrancy of the Prince Frederick Town Center.”

Additionally, Slaughenhoupt pointed out that relocating the sheriff’s office to County Services Plaza, Main Street would have two courthouses, two law enforcement agencies and several law offices all in a centralized location.

“Having the county staff co-located at Armory Square would directly benefit the economic development of the Armory Square project as envisioned by the 2012 Prince Frederick Charrette, which garnered strong public support,” said Slaughenhoupt, who added, “an underground parking garage for county staff will yield greater surface parking opportunities for customers of Armory Square and ensure much more convenient access to county services by citizens than they experience today.”

Construction of a county administration building at Armory Square would cost an estimated $50 million, according to Calvert’s current CIP. One county lawmaker—Delegate Mark N. Fisher [R- District 27C]—refused to support the county commissioners’ request for bonding authority to start the project. A citizen’s group—Keep Calvert Country—is also critical of the plan, calling it not consistent with either the current Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan or the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan.

For county government’s summary of the State of the County, view this video.

Contact Marty Madden at