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FPC aims for $60k proposal in 2011


March 24, 2010
The Facility Planning Committee is looking to present a final police station expansion and town hall renovation proposal to voters in March 2011.

At the FPC meeting last Monday night, Alan Yeaton, architect and planner for Amoskeag Architectural Group, was invited back to too work alongside the committee and take a look at the favored plans.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said he asked Yeaton to observe these plans and "tweak" them as need be for a final bid during the 2011 town meeting.

Taking the change from geothermal to conventional heating into consideration, as well as insulation issues in the town hall, Yeaton presented the committee with a $75,475 additional plan, consisting of $38,500 for architectural needs, $22,975 for plumbing, and $14,000 for electrical components.

Dunn said the biggest "glitch" in Yeaton's proposal was the fact that the town could only afford to spend $60,000 for this particular project, and that the $75,000 bid would not be plausible. Dunn concluded that the committee, along with the selectmen, would assess what they absolutely needed, and what elements would simply not be plausible.

When putting together the proposal, Yeaton said he took all elements into consideration including mechanical systems, heat pumps, and space needs in not only the police station, but the town hall. He said it was more than possible that they may have to extend the alarm system and sprinkler system to the town hall after it is installed in the police station, and that technology and codes will continue to change from now to 2011.

"In consideration of the new heating system, you may need to add air ventilation," said Yeaton. "Codes need to be up to date. We have changing technology, and you have to catch up with it at some point."

Although renovations are needed, he added that he wanted to be as non-invasive as possible to the building. Yeaton said that the air ventilation in the town hall is required under law to be fixed, and that the town hall cannot be ignored while the police station is being expanded and renovated, since the town hall has needed a few fix-ups over the years.

"If you improve the overall efficiency of the building, you may not have to change the boilers," said Yeaton, who added efficiency may cost a little more now but save the committee some planning dollars in the end.

The FPC has also discussed adding a bathroom upstairs, while chair of the committee James Mull suggested building a single rather than a double hallway upstairs in the building. Yeaton added that designing a rectangular rather than square dispatch center may help utilize space and possibly save money.

Yeaton brought up the fact that the committee has talked about utilizing the soon-to-be vacant SAU office space downstairs and suggested they let him know how they may want to utilize this space.

Yeaton plans to come back within the next week with three consultants to look over the building and the proposal at hand to give the town and the FPC more information on the $75,000. He said his explanation should give the committee more direction.

Most members agreed that windows may need to be replaced in the building, (including a leaky front door) yet the windows are only about $280 a piece, a miniscule problem in comparison to the building's overall insulation issues.

Although the FPC pointed out that both positive and negative comments have been made about the proposed police station expansion and town hall renovations, they agreed the project was still worth pursuing, and noted that the selectmen found this project to be a priority as well.

The FPC will meet with Yeaton on April 5 at 5 p.m. to further discuss project numbers and options.

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