Presentation to Select Board Planned for Aug. 22
EASTON — The Easton Municipal Building Committee, along with the Easton Police and Fire Departments and Department of Public Works, wish to provide an update on feasibility planning for the replacement of Police and Fire facilities on Lothrop Street, Public Works facilities on Center Street, and DPW and Water Division facilities on Bay Road.
Funding for the feasibility and schematic design phase of Easton’s municipal building replacement project was approved by Easton voters at Special Town Meeting in November 2021. In the following months, project management and design services were selected, and a preliminary site assessment and facilities programming assessment were conducted.
In July, the Municipal Building Committee voted to refine potential building and site options and the Committee is currently in the final stretch of analyzing these options. A vote on the preferred selection is expected in October, after which the project will advance into schematic design.
Public engagement and input is an important part of the feasibility process. Prior to voting on the preferred alternative selection, the Municipal Building Committee and project team will host a variety of public meetings, information sessions and tours of the current facilities for residents who would like to learn more about the project and the necessity of replacing these facilities, which range from 50-70+ years old.
A comprehensive project update will be delivered to the Select Board at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m. at Frothingham Hall, 15 Barrows St.
Additional opportunities for public engagement throughout the month of September will be announced at the Aug. 22 Select Board meeting and a project calendar will be available online shortly thereafter.
Additional information about the project, including the project timeline, documents and frequently asked questions can be found on the project webpage here.
The Town of Easton previously worked with Dore & Whittier in 2014 to complete a comprehensive facilities assessment of all school and general government buildings to determine the repairs needed and costs of those repairs. Updated facilities assessments were conducted in 2019, which concluded that numerous facilities needed replacement.
The Easton Department of Public Works, Water, Police and Fire facilities on Lothrop Street, Center Street and Bay Road range from 50-70+ years old. They are antiquated and not up to a variety of accessibility, safety and environmental codes. They are too small for the equipment and personnel they house, resulting in overcrowding of equipment and exposure of some equipment to the elements — including over 50 vehicles which are uncovered year round — as well as confinement of personnel to crowded facilities with inadequate space to work safely and comfortably.
The facilities are past their useful lives and continued annual capital spending on repairs is not a sound investment. The feasibility phase is the first step in determining the appropriate and necessary replacement options available in a proactive and responsible manner, rather than a reactive and emergency repair basis as the facilities further degrade. At the conclusion of the feasibility phase, the town will have a recommended project and design/construction budget. An associated debt exclusion will require approval by voters and Town Meeting before the project can advance into construction.