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Town officials tour Sanbornton's new garage



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On Feb. 15 project supervisor for Conneston Construction Incorporated Bryant Lehr (far right) officially handed over the keys to Sanbornton’s new Highway Garage on Hunkins Pond Road. Accepting the keys on behalf of the Town were (left to right) selectmen Andrew Livernois, chairman David Nickerson and Guy Giunta. The estimated $1.1 million dollar project came in on time and slightly below budget. Donna Rhodes. (click for larger version)
February 23, 2011
SANBORNTON — Town officials from Sanbornton met on Feb. 15 with representatives of Conneston Construction to tour the newly completed highway garage on Hunkins Pond Road and accept the keys to the new million dollar facility built to give Department of Public Works employees a more work and energy efficient facility.

Walking through the main garage, enhanced by five solar-door enclosed vehicle bays for additional heat and light, selectmen were impressed with the efficiency of the new facility and the care that can now be given to vehicles and equipment purchased to maintain the roadways in Sanbornton.

"This building will last the town many, many years. What a difference," said Selectman Guy Giunta as he looked around the spacious new quarters for Public Works.

Dan Patch, superintendent for CCI, and Project Supervisor Bryant Lehr

led the tour through the new building, where selectmen saw not just the amenities of the garage but also the new safety features and some added energy-efficient measures put in place to keep costs for the building on par with those of the old garage, which was torn down last fall at the onset of the project.

Lehr reported that the construction of the garage went "smoothly" and he was pleased to bring it in on time.

"It just seemed to flow and, other than moving a lot of dirt, everything went as planned and we finished on time as we said we would," Lehr said.

Included in the million dollar project are many things to make the job pf caring for the infrastructure of the town a little easier for the employees. Plows can now be stored inside with no time wasted warming diesel-powered trucks in cold temperatures or clearing snow from vehicles in order to get them out on the road. Vehicle maintenance and repairs, tool storage and seasonal damage to equipment will no longer be an issue and selectmen were pleased to report this would bring better service to the residents.

"It's going to make life so much easier for the employees when they have room to keep the equipment inside. They'll be able to get out and get their job done a lot faster now," said selectman Andrew Livernois.

Other added amenities are office space for the DPW director and his assistant, a break room, locker room to store belongings for long nights incurred during snow and other weather-related emergencies, and even shower facilities for long-term and emergency purposes.

Recommendations by the Energy Committee brought to the construction process innovations such as radiant heating, solar lighting and sensor-detecting lights and water features, all designed to keep costs at a minimum. Walls are insulated three-inch panels with rigid insulation incorporated into them and were not even cold to touch last Tuesday when temperatures were dipping into the lower teens. A hot water-based fan system just inside the bay doors will help bring temperatures back to normal when doors are opened, allowing the radiant heat system to catch back up with incoming cold air.

"This building will probably cost the town no more than the older, smaller building we had before but offers so much more," said Town Administrator Robert Veloski.

New safety measures include a chemical storage room and a state-of-the art eye wash station. Tool benches line one section of the back wall and a mezzanine allows for plenty of room to stash away tires or other items not readily needed. Exhaust fans will pull dangerous carbon monoxide from the building and windows will allow for cross-ventilation in the summer months. Above the garage floor is a mezzanine area for storage that will be well utilized, said Veloski.

"The (safety) bars pull up so they can get whatever they need upstairs for storage. It's great space," Veloski said.

There is also a mechanical room where components of the water and radiant heat systems are centralized. Patch said they are low-maintenance systems and did not foresee any need to service either of them in the near future.

"It would be a good idea, however, to set up a maintenance plan for clearing drains one to two times a year and set up a schedule for floors and other routine maintenance to the building," Patch said.

Before accepting the keys for the facility Nickerson, Giunta and Livernois all said they were very pleased with the outcome of the project.

"There's room to expand here if need be and this place will serve the town's needs for a long time. I look forward to having folks come down and see what we've built here," Livernois said.

An official open house for the DPW garage will be planned for later this spring.

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