Saturday March 16, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard has chosen a project manager to oversee the first stage of the $14 million renovation of Brattleboro’s police and fire facilities.

Steve Horton, of Walpole, N.H., has been hired to help the board finalize the designs for the projects at the Elliot Street and West Brattleboro fire stations, and for the police station in town hall.

Horton has worked on a number of projects in the region, including the recently completed fire station in Keene, N.H.

"I have done work for municipalities in the past and I enjoy helping achieve positive outcomes for projects like this," Horton said Friday. "This project intrigued me."

Horton will work closely with the board, and with the staff at the police and fire departments, to come up with ideas and workable solutions for the complex project.

The work will probably carry through this year, and into early 2014.

Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2014.

"There are still a lot of decisions to make, Horton said. "There are a lot of details to still flesh out and a lot of information to be recorded and vetted before we build."

Workers during the project will have be on the site while allowing the departments to fully function and have access to all facilities during emergencies and daily business.


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Horton will have regular contact with the board and with town officials, and will relay information to engineers and architects as the final design is put together.

The design that the Selectboard and town meeting representatives has been working with is preliminary, and Horton explained it is a long way from those drawings to the final plans that construction crews will use once work starts.

"I really enjoy this process," says Horton. "It’s great to get to know the firemen, and police and town government members, and provide leadership and strategic vision to meet or exceed their goals."

Selectboard member David Gartenstein said Horton was a good match for the town.

"He has extensive experience supervising municipal projects," said Gartenstein. "He has had a personal hand in overseeing many large construction projects and his references also said he exercised sound financial oversight."

There were seven applicants for the position.

The town is still looking for members to serve on the Police-Fire Facilities Committee, which will give the Selectboard additional oversight and input on the project.

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at hwtisman@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.