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Building Committee Update--Preliminary Design Approved


The goal of the Scotland Town Hall Renovation Building Committee is to bring the building into the 21st century while preserving its 19th-century character, to create a space that is welcoming to all Scotland residents, and to enhance the ability of town employees to serve the public. Committee members are: John Aldrich, Michael Brandes, Terry Delaney, Gary Greenberg (chair), Brynn Lipstreu, and Jim Troeger. The meetings are noticed with agendas posted with the Town Clerk.
 
Our work so far has focused on assembling the team that will design and implement the renovations. After competitive bid processes, we have hired Tyche Planning to administer the grants funding the project, and Nelson Edwards Architects to design the renovations and create the documents that will allow us to go out to bid for the actual construction. We are hoping to have those documents completed by fall and to have a contractor in place to start construction next year, and to have the project substantially complete by the end of 2025.
 
Originally, the Town was going to contribute $500,000 to the effort, but those funds (which came from the Town’s share of Covid relief grants) were spent on the flood emergency of September 2023. After working closely with the Governor’s office, State Senator Cathy Osten, and the State Department of Housing throughout last Fall, our Community Development Block Grant was increased by a half million dollars. This brings our total grant funding to just over $2.8 million, of which $2.1 million is available for construction. The rest will be absorbed by soft costs such as the architect and grant consultant fees, which alone will come to nearly $450,000. 
 
A major focus of the renovations is making the building more accessible for people with disabilities, especially by adding an elevator that will allow employees and residents to get to the second floor. In addition, the project will result in upgraded heating and ventilation systems that will increase energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint; private office spaces and public assembly areas to improve town officials’ ability to serve the public; increased security for employees; long needed repairs of structural deficiencies; and, by removing the external fire escapes, the vinyl siding, and the concrete handicap ramp at the front of the building, an improved and historically accurate outside appearance. 
 
The Committee considered two approaches to the renovation. One included an addition at the that would house the elevator along with a staircase and office. The other placed the elevator within the existing building envelope. Nelson Edwards developed drawings sufficient for an estimator to provide an opinion of the probable cost of each option, taking into account probable inflation over the next eighteen months. The answer came back last week. The option for the addition would cost approximately $3.4 million. The second option would cost approximately $1 million less, and with scaled back site development, could be done for just under the $2.1 million budgeted. The Committee decided not to pursue more grant money and to go ahead with the second option. Floor plans and elevations for this option are available here. (This file also includes as-is drawings. Look carefully at the captions.)
 
A progress report detailing these developments will be provided to the Board of Selectmen at its March 27 meeting. This will be a public information session at which residents can ask questions and make comments on the project. All are welcome to attend. Questions and comments can also be directed to Gary Greenberg at specialprojects@scotlandct.org