Middlebury: Town office project moves forward
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | June 25,2014
MIDDLEBURY — A special committee charged with overseeing plans for a new town office and municipal recreation center were told construction on both facilities should begin in mid-October.
Chris Huston of Bread Loaf Corp. updated the committee last week on the design, permitting and construction schedule. Huston said construction on both projects will take 11 months with a completion date of Sept. 18, 2015.
The new town office will be built at the site of Osborne House, owned by Middlebury College and adjacent to Ilsley Library. The recreation center will be built off Creek Road at the site of the former American Legion hall.
Huston said the college will relocate Osborne House before construction.
Voters in March approved a $6.5 million bond for the town office and municipal recreation facility. The cost will be offset by the sale of the existing town office and gym property to Middlebury College for $4.5 million.
A revote in May to rescind the bond was defeated.
A key feature is to employ renewable energy on site to make both buildings a net-zero energy user.
“We’ll also be looking at the cost associated with the net zero,” Huston said. “Right now, we’re drawing both the buildings, incorporating net-zero envelope from the start, mechanical systems with net zero in mind,” he said. “So we’re headed down that path right immediately.”
In terms of heating, Bread Loaf is investigating installation of a wood-pellet furnace at the recreation facility and a heat pump at the town office. But Huston said no decision has been made.
“We’ll be studying that as we move forward,” he said.
A solar array is being designed for the roof of the recreation center.
One change being considered to the recreation facility, Huston said, is combining the two multi-purpose rooms into one room separated by a divider, which “would open the space up to almost 1,000 square feet if you wanted a larger gathering.”
He said that would allow the maximum use of the space for a variety of functions.
Next year, Creek Road will undergo a major reconstruction, with the road closed for a time.
Selectman Dean George suggested it makes sense to coordinate the two projects.
“We’re looking to have that go out to bid for construction next year, which will involve the sidewalk issue … as well as digging up the street, new road bed, storm water, pretty aggressive construction on the street,” George said.
Huston said the water and sewer hookups will be done well before any road construction takes place next year. Even with Creek Road closed off, he said, there shouldn’t be a problem coordinating delivery of material to the job site.
Selectwoman Laura Asermily says she likes the plans as presented so far.
“I do want to see us heat this with a nonfossil (fuel),” she said. “I’m really hopeful that we can.”
For the town office, the side entrance will line up with the side entrance of Ilsley Library, which is the library’s main entrance.
John Dale of Bread Loaf said some thought is being given to extending the porch roof from the library’s side entrance over to the town office, creating a covered breezeway.
Landscaping between the two buildings is in discussion, perhaps with additional lighting.
Dale said the side of the town office will be seven feet closer to the library than Osborne House, but the front of the new building will be 15 feet farther back, exposing more of the library to public view.
The meeting can be viewed on Middlebury Community Television at middleburycommunitytv.org/TownOfc062014.