Select Board discusses feasibility study on town buildings

SOUTHWICK – The Select Board met with Tighe & Bond on Tuesday night to discuss the municipal buildings feasibility study that the engineering and environmental consulting firm has conducted.

Hired by the Town of Southwick for $85,000 to conduct the study, Tighe & Bond reviewed with the Select Board which buildings may have issues that need immediate work.

According to Peter Papineau of Tighe & Bond, the first priority, as indicated from the feasibility study, is to have the roof replaced on the Southwick Fire station. Tighe & Bond estimates that the design, engineering, and replacement of the roof would cost around $285,000.

The Select Board is seen speaking with representatives of Tighe & Bond on Tuesday night at the Southwick Town Hall. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

“The sooner you address those problems and take care of them, you’re going to get another 30, 40, and 50 years out of the building,” said Papineau.

Select Board Vice-Chairman Russ Fox agreed with Papineau’s recommendation from the feasibility study.

“We’ve got to get it fixed because it’s only going to get worse,” said Fox.

Further in the discussion of the report’s findings, Papineau also said that the DPW (Department of Public Works) building needs a new roof. However, Tighe & Bond is suggesting to Southwick officials that they construct a brand-new DPW facility rather than just putting a new roof on the existing building. Tighe & Bond estimates that the amount of money that could be spent to renovate the structure may cost more than just constructing a new building.

Keeping the focus with the DPW, Papineau added that another immediate need that was discovered is a new parking lot at the headquarters. Following that recommendation, Fox noted that it may not be a smart idea by the town to spend a major amount of money on a new parking lot when a lot of their focus moving forward is supposed to be going towards improving deteriorating roads throughout town.

“It’s not happening,” said Fox.

However, Papineau informed the Select Board that the DPW parking lot can be moved to a different time frame and not be an immediate need for the town.

Giving an overall assessment of the municipal buildings in Southwick, Papineau gave the Select Board some positive input from when he took part in a tour of the buildings in September of 2018.

“Your buildings are in good shape in general, I was impressed walking around,” said Papineau. “Just keep them the way they are and they’re going to be servicing a long time.”

The municipal buildings project involves having emergency infrastructure repairs done on municipal buildings in town. Those buildings include the town hall, the fire department, the police department, the department of public works, and the town library.

The infrastructure issues consist of the roof and remodeling of other structures of buildings around 20-years old. A number of other infrastructure concerns will be looked at including parking and driveway conditions, windows, gutters, emergency power generators, electrical conditions, lighting, septic conditions, and other aspects.

The PVPC (Pioneer Valley Planning Commission) is consulting with the Town of Southwick for this study and developed the RFQ (Request for Quote), which was awarded to Tighe & Bond. A RFQ is different than a RFP (Request for Proposal) and a better option for the town.

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