The building on 14 Plum Street that now houses our town’s staff is 90 years old, it was built in 1931. While it has served us well over the years, it is in need of major renovation, or its replacement. Thursday, Council authorized Town Manager Hozey to execute a contract in the amount of $41,509 for architectural services.
An RFP was released in March 2021, and proposals were accepted from four firms: Dills Architects, GMB, HBA, and VIA Design. GMB and HBA were ranked highest.
Eventually, the town concluded that HBA provides the best value at a price of $41,509.
The Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment for new construction was not included.
It was agreed to add additional funds and HBA would evaluate future office space and up to $45,000 to accommodate the addition of a wetlands delineation and Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment.
Phase 1 includes these options:
- Renovation of the current Municipal Building.
- Build-out of the third floor of the Library Building.
- New construction on Town-owned property.
- A combination of renovation and new construction.
Here are some of the things HBA will be looking into:
e factors including, but not limited to:
- Ability to accommodate staff in a manner that promotes functional cohesion.
- Ability to create multi-function space.
- Ability to serve the public.
- ADA accessibility
- Energy efficiency.
- Availability of high-speed internet access.
- Availability of water and wastewater service.
- Availability of parking for both staff and the public.
- Accessibility by other means of transportation (walking, biking, golf cart).
- Storm water management.
- Potential to dispose of other real property.
The only property available for new construction is a parcel adjacent to the radio tower, between the Rosenwald School.
An option that is on the table is to sell off real property to fund new construction or renovation. Councilman Follmer noted that if they are going to sell property, the town should look into selling off its most valuable asset, which at this time, is the library that is located where the Bank of America used to be. Follmer made an accurate point noting that it was foolish to buy the property in the first place and that it is not a good fit for a library–he also noted that when the town purchased the building, citizens were sold a bill of goods that the town offices would be moved there. Nothing of the sort has happened. It was agreed that the town should look into selling the library, but as part of a later evaluation. That opens a whole new can of worms–where to put the library, or taken to its logical conclusion, just get rid of it and begin to leverage the Regional Library’s online features.