BRATTLEBORO — Construction of a one-story addition for G.S. Precision's facility is expected to begin within the next two weeks.
"It will be a combination of some office space and cafeteria space and then industrial space," engineer Bob Stevens, representing G.S. Precision, told the Development Review Board on Monday, Nov. 16. "It's sort of a reshuffling of their operations internally to that."
The purpose of the project is to accommodate the company's expansion of operations, Stevens said, mentioning the purchase of new equipment and plans for adding 100 employees between the company's sites at 101 and 347 John Seitz Drive.
G.S. Precision makes high-precision machined components and sub-assemblies for industries related to aircraft engines, aerospace, medicine, fiber-optics, automobiles, specialty bearings and other commercial purposes.
In August, the company received initial approval of over $1 million in Vermont Employment Growth Incentives and a commitment of Vermont Training Program funds. The announcement came after company President and CEO Norm Schneeberger said he was looking at property in West Chesterfield, N.H., for expanding operations as the Brattleboro facility could not meet their growing needs. Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation Executive Director Adam Grinold met with representatives from the state, the town of Brattleboro and G.S. Precision to figure out an incentive package to make the expansion happen in Brattleboro.
In separate applications at the DRB meeting, Stevens sought permission to create a right-of-way for a future road at 343 John Seitz Drive which involves land currently owned by the BDCC; construct a pedestrian bridge on John Seitz Drive, build a 59-space parking lot and curb cut on the same road; to construct a water line for a sprinkler system, add 40 employees and install a plow turn-around at 347 John Seitz Drive; and construct a 13,733-square-foot addition for manufacturing, adjust the parking layout, add 100 employees, install site lighting, make drainage improvements, add walkways and create on-street parking at 101 John Seitz Drive.
The projects were being reviewed, in part, to be submitted to the state as the company seeks a minor Act 250 permit.
According to Stevens, a new right-of-way for a future road will be created taking "little bits of land" from 343 and 347 John Seitz Drive by subdivision. This area by Exit 1 is considered an undeveloped lot.
"G.S. Precision is going to lease all but five or six spaces (at 343 John Seitz Drive) to support activities," Stevens said. "And we have a new sidewalk connecting that lot."
Another parcel will allow for 59 parking spaces. A buffer will be created and a guardrail will be constructed with guidance from state wetlands coordinators. Conditions on approval for this project require a greenlight from Brattleboro Fire Department officials regarding vehicle access and submission of lighting plans,
A pedestrian bridge for the same parcel will cross a retention pond. Spanning 100 feet in length and approximately 8 feet in width with guardrails on the sides, the structure will have a wooden deck. The two abutments will be lighted and lights from the parking lot are expected to help employees and visitors with crossing the bridge at night.
"It's not unlike the (Brattleboro) Co-op pedestrian bridge," Stevens said, before accepting a condition for creating a striped crosswalk from the bridge to the main lot.
To address the addition, handicap parking spaces will be made and new sidewalks will go in. Twelve parking spaces would be added behind the building with consideration for wetlands back there. If congestion becomes an issue as more employees join the company, other DRB-approved parking spots could be created. Snow removal and lighting plans were requested in conditions for this parking application. Also, the board wanted to ensure on-street parking was agreeable to the town's Department of Public Works.