BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard has agreed to investigate a new proposal from the Police-Fire Facility Building Committee to knock down the West Brattleboro Fire Station instead of renovating the existing structure.
Brattleboro is taking the first steps on its $14.1 million renovation of the police station and two fire stations.
Project Manager Steve Horton told the Selectboard Tuesday that DEW Construction weighed the option of renovating and adding on to the West Brattleboro station versus tearing down the building and constructing a facility with the same dimensions.
Horton said tearing down the old building and constructing a new facility would save the town about $220,000.
Horton, and the Police-Fire Facility Building endorsed the plan, and were looking for the board to approve the change, but the board instead only agreed to encourage Horton and the committee to continue investigating the proposal.
DEW Construction, the firm that was chosen to lead the project, looked at the initial estimate put together by Black River Design as one of the first steps in moving the project forward.
DEW determined that it made more sense to take down the old building.
Horton himself said he thought the same thing after visiting the West Brattleboro station.
"From the first day I visited West Brattleboro I questioned the validity of the early study," Horton said.
If the board does agree to the change the plan, the new building will be about 3,500 square feet, about what the renovated facility would have been.
Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland said Police-Fire Facility Building Committee did have concerns about the expectations of the public and of the town meeting representatives who voted on the project thinking the West Brattleboro station would be renovated.
Selectboard member John Allen, who is also on the Police-Fire Facility Building Committee, said it made sense to end up with a new facility.
Brattleboro Fire Chief Mike Bucossi also said he was in favor of the change.
Horton said the committee is also looking at the option of negotiating with the Brattleboro School Board to move the station a little closer to Academy School onto a gravel lot the school district owns.
The move would also be an improvement for moving trucks in and out of the station Horton said.
That option, Horton said, would also save relocation costs.
The Selectboard also agreed to investigate that option
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow @HowardReformer.