Wednesday August 21, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard has chosen DEW Construction to lead the town's $14.1 million renovation project of its police and fire facilities.

The board voted to have DEW act as the construction management service for the project at the Tuesday night board meeting.

The board unanimously approved the recommendation which came from the Police Fire Facility Building Committee which handled the application process and which interviewed the three top contenders for the job.

Project Manager Steve Horton said the town received 14 inquiries on the project and a sub committee of the Police Fire Facility Building Committee interviewed representatives from DEW, along with staff from Breadloaf Construction and HP Cummings Construction.

Horton said DEW was chosen largely for the technology and software it had that would allow the company to communicate directly with the people of Brattleboro as the project gets underway.

"They have the background in working on similar projects," said Horton. "They have worked on other projects where they have been able to save money and come in under budget. They can provide the creativity and thought in that regard."

Horton said each of the three companies that was interviewed had the staffing, management and experience to handle the large job.

With the vote Tuesday night Horton said there will be much more activity in the background as the town prepares for construction work that is set to begin in spring 2014 Architects and DEW staff will meet regularly with the 12-to-15 members of the Police Fire Facility Building Committee.

Selectboard member John Allen, who is also a member of the Police Fire Facility Building Committee, said the planning process leading up to construction was a crucial period for the whole project.

Allen said the committee felt good about the staff and resources DEW had to work with the town and make good choices leading up to construction.

"They have the internal mechanisms to get this initial stage off to the right start," Allen said. "This next phase is the most important."

At Tuesday night's meeting Finance Manager John O'Connor said the town has established a new accounting fund to track the project.

A protocol has been established to review payments and the money will be tracked between the projects at the three buildings.

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