Public Safety Building Committee
December 20, 2006
6:30 PM Holden Light Department
Present: Peter Liddy, Christopher Lucchesi, addressStreetHal Lane, Bob Beck, Karl Makela, Jack Chandler, George Sherrill, David White
Absent: Richard Bates, Brian Forts
Others Present: Charles Boos, Paul Challenger, David Ellis, Eric Johansen, Mark Bibace, Alesia Bessette, Gene Stirchak
The headings of the individual points below refer to the items as stated in the original agenda.
1. The meeting was called to order at 18:35.
2. The minutes from the December 6, 2006 meeting were reviewed. A question regarding the detailed list of repairs to the Police station was raised but deferred to item 4 (see below). A point of clarification was made regarding at whose pleasure this Committee is serving (this Committee is serving at the pleasure of the Town Manager not the Selectboard). It was further noted that while the above is true, this Committee does need to keep the Selectboard well informed of its progress. The minutes were then accepted as written by a vote of 4 to 0 with one abstention.
3. Charles Boos of Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc. was introduced to the Committee. In the introduction it was noted that 5 years ago the initial Public Safety Building Committee prepared a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project and received over twenty proposals. Of these Kaestle Boos was considered to be most qualified regarding the design and building of public safety buildings.
Mr. Boos made a few general remarks to begin. Mr. Boos stated that Kaestle Boos would be happy to stay with the Holden Public Safety Building Project. Mr. Boos called attention to the level of service Kaestle Boos regularly provides to its customers, his own 40 years of experience as an architect (with 43 years of total experience in architectural firms) and that Kaestle Boos marketing is through its past customers. A few of the Massachusetts towns currently working with Kaestle Boos on Public Safety building projects include Foxboro, Abington, and Cambridge. Towns with recently completed projects include Chelmsford, Hampton (NH), and Londondery (NH). Mr. Boos also noted that commodity prices for materials of construction are rising rapidly and that time is of the essence in order not to see increases in the cost of
these materials affect the project.
Questions from the Committee followed (question then answer from Mr. Boos).
Are all previously prepared documents available to this committee? Yes
Who from Kaestle Boos would be leading this project? Bob Mitchell (with experience in fire house and police structures) is available to this project. Mr. Boos himself would be available to assist with any presentations for town meetings or other public forum.
What services would Kaestle Boos provide to the project in the early stages? Site assessment and selection, architectural and landscape planning (both services are in house to Kaestle Boos), provide a concept plan and assist with developing a presentation based on directions from the Committee for a January Town meeting, and work with the Committee to advance the project based on direction the Committee provides.
What services does Kaestle Boos provide in house and what is out sourced? In house services include structural engineering, interior design, general architecture, and landscape architecture. Out sourced services including plumbing and electrical planning, and civil engineering.
The Committee does not know which option between 1 or 2 or more new buildings, or using existing buildings, provides the best coverage of the needs of Holden Public Safety forces. How does this Committee proceed? Kaestle Boos works with the Committee to study all the possibilities. The Committee then selects from the best options in the Committee’s opinion.
Can you give an example of the cost of a recent project with similarities to this project? The Foxboro project is approximately 30,000 square feet of building and the construction cost is $280 per square foot. Mr. Boos cautioned the Committee this is not a project cost per square foot which would include site and other costs.
How many Public Safety building projects are currently in progress in house at Kaestle Boos? Currently there are two open projects but none are in the design phase. A number of project bids are before potential customers but currently, Kaestle Boos has available capacity for this type of project. Mr. Boos noted that the Kaestle Boos business focus is in the design of Public Safety Building and schools.
How long will it take to develop detailed information for a given option? 10 to 14 days.
Can existing public safety buildings be modified? In general the construction is made difficult by the fact the public safety people need the original building to work in. There needs to be room for the existing functions to move during the construction. Also, public safety buildings are built with the work processes in mind which makes the layout of rooms critical to an effective building. Specifically for the Holden Public Safety Buildings, the police station can not be added to due to the buffer zone required for properties next to the wet lands abutting the station. The fire station has possibilities, see below for more discussion.
What would Kaestle Boos charge to assist in preparing project documents and a presentation for a January Town Meeting where this Committee requests funding to develop a comprehensive plan for the Public Safety building(s)? There would be no cost to the Town for this work; Kaestle Boos is willing to share the risk with Holden. What Kaestle Boos needs to develop these initial documents and presentation is greater definition of how the Committee wishes to proceed with this project.
What would the elements of a comprehensive plan be for a proposal to go before the voters (what would the January funding provide to the Town)? There are many options but Mr. Boos suggested that a schematic floor plan with systems (communication, mechanical, electrical, etc) and exterior design would be sufficient. Mr. Boos’ opinion when asked was that this could be developed for less than $100,000.
Significant questions remain to be resolved. Site selection requires a functional concept for both the police and fire requirement. Are we moving too fast to do due diligence with the funding proposed for developing the comprehensive plan? There are a number of options available as to much detailed planning is needed to go to the Town for approval to do the building. Kaestle Boos works with clients to fit into budgets with options available.
How are site surveys funded? These are funded separately from the project and vary in cost depending on the elements requested; a comprehensive survey would cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
Any issues if the project is split between two sites or buildings? No.
Mr. Boos was thanked for his time and effort and left the meeting at this point.
Several points by Committee members were made at this point. The Committee can make use of the Town's GIS system (Brian Bullock suggested this) to quickly eliminate unsuitable sites. From the preparations for the last Public Safety Building Committee, documents describing all 5 acre sites on major roads (a total of 29 sites) are also available. Both will be used by this committee. It was noted that the RFP process takes at least 60 days, often more, which adds costs as noted by Mr. Boos. It was agreed that time is of the essence. It was also noted that Kaestle Boos will follow the direction of this Committee. A discussion on possible sites was deferred to the next meeting.
A motion was made to continue working with Kaestle Boos. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
A procedural point was made regarding contact with Kaestle and Boos. No Committee member will directly contact Kaestle and Boos without being authorized by the Committee. It will be the responsibility of the Chair of this Committee to maintain contact with Kaestle and Boos. There was complete consensus on this point.
Paul Challenger was asked to provide a re-cap of the last Public Safety Buildings Committee work. The past Committee quickly went to a 1 building project because in general it does cost less if building services are shared. The process went from considering 29 sites to 3 sites to selecting the 1 site. Unfortunately the assumptions underlying the one site concept did not hold (the land was economical but to build there it was quite expensive). Other sites considered by the past Committee were the Holden Hospital, Chaffin Rec, and at the north end of Main Street. In these cases the Flame Study (the ability of the Fire Department to respond to fire calls in all areas of the Town) pushed the choice to the site proposed. It was noted that a sub station further up 31 near Manning Street would be needed to keep response
times in that area reasonable. Combining the Public Safety Building with DPW was considered but was found to be too expensive an option. Town owned parcels were found not to be big enough to suit the project. Advice to this Committee was to be open to all ideas, be flexible in what has to be where, and engage the public early in disseminating information not just on what will be select but what was considered and rejected and why.
A question was raised of whether renovating and adding onto the existing fire station was considered. The last Committee considered the cost to be too high to use this as an option due to the need to raise the roof to accommodate the larger trucks, the foundation was seen to be cracking and asbestos would need to be removed. It was noted that no review of structural soundness was performed in order to reject the idea. Also the asbestos would need to remediation whether the building was renovated or demolished. Until the structural soundness review is done this option should remain on the table.
It was noted that the last Public Safety Building proposal was rejected by voters who thought the project too big and too expensive. There will be an added element of voters deciding the fate of this Committee’s proposal who thought the last proposal was right and that this proposal may be too limited.
4. In considering warrants for a January Town meeting from this Committee, it was brought up that maintenance of the existing facilities should be part of the Town operating budget and proposed by the Town. A motion was made for the Committee to not to get involved in the repairs for the existing Public Safety Building. The motion was seconded and accepted unanimously.
A motion was made to ask the Town of Holder Voters via a warrant article for a sum of money not to exceed $75,000 to fund professional services in the development of a comprehensive proposal for Public Safety facilities. The Town Manager will be asked to prepare the warrant article. The motion was seconded and accepted unanimously.
5. A discussion of establishing a budget for this committee through a warrant article brought out a couple of points. The main use of budget funds would be for making public the substance and progress of the Committee in developing a comprehensive plan for Public Safety facilities in Holden. Any publication from the Committee can not be promoting the plan rather it must be strictly informational. From this it was noted that any publication from this Committee would have to go through a thorough review. The motion was made to propose a second warrant article asking for funds not to exceed $5,000 for the Committee to use in publicizing Committee progress. The motion was seconded and accepted unanimously.
6. Committee member Brain Forts notified the Committee that his attendance at Committee meetings would be limited through April. The committee agreed that Mr. Forts should be left to make any decision of whether to stay with the Committee or not. It was felt through these minutes and review of other Committee documentation that Mr. Forts should be able to stay current with Committee progress.
7. Election of Committee Officers was considered and it was decided to proceed despite not having the full Committee present. A motion was made to have Chris Lucchesi serve as Chairman of the Committee. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. A motion was made to have Hal Lane serve as Vice Chair of the Committee. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
8. As food for thought, Bob Beck shared with the Committee feedback from the Holden Tomorrow Visioning Session of December 7 on the question “What do you think should be done about public safety services and facilities in Holden?” The responses confirmed this Committee’s opinion that communication to the community is critical to the success of any proposal coming from this Committee and the need to keep the Selectboard up to date with the project planning. David White stated that he will be diligent in disseminating information from the project and the direction the project is taking.
A suggestion was made to build a Mission Statement for the Project to ensure all points are considered and balanced and that no one point derails the project. An agenda item will be included in the next meeting to begin development of a Project Mission Statement.
9. General planning for a presentation to the Board of Selectmen before the January Town Meeting was discussed. It was suggested second meeting in January of the Select Board would be the best date for such a presentation. Chris requested that David place an item on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda for the presentation. David will confirm the date of that meeting.
Any other business:
The agenda for Committee meetings should have time set aside both early in meetings at the close of meetings for Public Comment.
There was agreement that the Committee needs to begin the site selection process. An agenda item will be put on the January 3rd meeting agenda to brainstorm potential sites.
Chris needs to touch base with Liz confirming that the room at the Holden Light Department Building is booked for this Committee’s meetings.
David will send to Committee members a .pdf file of a map of the area around the Police Station showing what is protected by the buffer zone for the adjacent wet lands.
Chief Chandler was asked to approach Kaestle Boos and inquire after a structural and land analysis of the existing fire station in order to assess its potential as an option.
Chief Chandler will approach Brian Bullock to set a date for a Town Meeting in January to consider the warrant articles described above. It was noted that a special Select Board Meeting may be needed in order to discuss the warrant articles.
11. Items indicated for the next Meeting (3 January 2007 at the Light Department):
Review of Kaestle and Boos agreement extension
Discussion of and Preparation for Town Meeting and Funding Requests
Preparation for Select Board presentation
Development of a Project Mission Statement
Brainstorm for possible sites of building(s)
Existing Fire Station Land and Structural Analysis status update
Dissemination of information to the public
All other business
The meeting was adjourned at 21:15.