From: Leslie Klusmire, Town Manager
RE: Staff Recommendation for Addressing Armory ADA compliance, structural, weatherization/energy efficiency and utility upgrade needs, bathroom replacement and additional space to meet community needs for the next ten years.
Date: February 19, 2014
Vote to authorize the Town Manager to expend no more than $10,000 from funds set aside for Armory improvements for pre-construction drawing assessments including an overall program analysis and pre-design, architectural schematic for a new addition to include restrooms and changing facility, multi-purpose room, commercial-grade kitchen, electrical assessment and rehabilitation plan, structural assessment and weatherization plan, assessment and recommendation for site conditions, drainage and snow.
In the fall of 2009, the Town applied for a CDBG grant to fund a two story addition to the Armory estimated to cost $605,000 for an additional 2400 square feet (1200 sq. ft. per story without pre-construction preparation costs - typically about 10% of the construction budget). That estimate – not including the costs of pre-construction work - breaks out to about $277 per square foot. From what I can tell, this proposal did not include a kitchen and did not include improvements to the existing building including electrical, structural and energy efficiency.
The Board of Trustees approved an Armory expansion on May 18, 2011. Although no reference is made in the minutes to what the expansion entailed, it may have been based on construction plans drawn and submitted to the Town in February of 2010. That plan was similar to the plan submitted for the CDBG grant of 2009. By September 2012, that same addition now fleshed out in actual construction drawings was estimated to be $935,179.20 without pre-construction drawings. That estimate – not including the costs of pre-construction work - breaks out to about $390 per square foot. The elevator alone, without factoring the cost of the support structures around it was approximately $95,000. The cost of the elevator itself (not the support structures for the elevator) to serve the only the square footage of the building’s second story not taken up by the elevator itself would be $42 per sq. foot or app 10% of the total construction cost of the building. A little over half of that space would have been a new weight room.
The addition appears to have stalled because of a lack of funding.
In the years following, a collaborative recreation planning committee (CRC) assessed the current needs of the community and has recommended that some of the uses planned for the Armory, specifically the weight and cardio room uses could work better as part of a joint use facility at the school. The school is planning to construct a gymnasium over the next year replacing the need to use the Armory as frequently as they do now. Town staff believes a new, affordable and more historically respectful vision for the Armory is emerging that will serve the current community needs better than the previous plan. In addition, the Armory is in immediate need of utility upgrades, structural reinforcements and weatherization to prevent the considerable heat loss the buildings cracks and air spaces now create.
Staff has been meeting and discussing the recommendations of CRC, the past planning efforts of the Town and working through a recommendation for an immediate project to affordably address Town needs for Armory use and its need for some rehabilitation work. DOLA has assisted us in identifying funding. We believe that if the Trustees agree with our recommendation and give us the go ahead tonight, it may be possible to secure 100% funding this spring, start construction in June of 2014 and complete improvements in the fall of 2014.
During the proposed construction period, we expect that the Armory itself may be out of commission for public use for a significant part of the summer. Alternative locations would have to be identified for those groups that usually use the Armory during the construction period. Staff has started to identify options for relocation of events and classes planned for this summer. It would be important to make sure the Armory is back in use for the start of school. We anticipate at least one more year of use by the school as they prepare for and construct their gymnasium.
The following is the staff proposal for improvements to the Armory:
1. Construction of a 1500 sq.ft. one story addition off the south side of the building in an area that would not preclude an eventual two story addition similar to what was previously planned but not funded. All improvements would have to comply with current building codes.
The one story addition would include:
a. Restrooms for men and women
b. A “family” restroom that would include a shower and changing area
c. A full commercial kitchen
d. A multi-purpose activity room of approximately 500 to 600 sq. ft.
e. Storage and maintenance prep areas as needed
f. A wide hallway leading from the Armory to the different use areas in the addition
2. Entrance improvements to the current Town Hall that would keep snow off the entry way and include a small garden/ seating area. This improvement would be modest in cost because should the town grow and elect to proceed with a two story addition, this improvement would be demolished. It will most likely be combined with and entry area for the addition.
3. Restoration of the former Fire House Garage into a Town meeting and multi-purpose classroom space. The former firehouse garage has a bricked over wide garage entrance that could be removed and replaced with glass and doors that open on to a large public courtyard. We believe this would make a very attractive meeting room that could also house aerobic and exercise classes, other meetings and activities, and could also be rented out for parties and private events. Our vision includes a large courtyard off the south end of the building with landscaping, a community barbeque and fire pit. There is a likelihood that we will be building a pump house on Town property south of the Armory at a future date. The pump house building could be integrated into the site plan and a garden could be maintained on the open areas remaining on the Town property.
4. Storage areas. Staff recommends continuing to use the space north of the old firehouse garage as storage, adding a mezzanine and stairs to create more storage in that room. The second story of the existing Town Hall (now used as the weight rooms,) would be storage and offices for town staff as needed. No ADA access would be required as the space would not be for used by the general public.
5. Replace the electrical system, repair any structural weaknesses and weatherize the building. The Armory does need some restoration work. Besides sealing the cracks and air spaces in the building, it needs new wiring and some structural repair work. This initial assessment phase will help us determine the extent of the work needed.
6. Accessibility and aesthetic improvements to the front/main entrance. The snow-shedding on the north side of the building is a hard problem to solve. I am proposing creating a wide planter next the building to allow snow storage through the winter and shade-type perennials and annuals in the summer. We would construct a boardwalk similar to the others in downtown to the north of the open planning area and then create parallel parking along the boardwalk – most of which would be devoted to ADA parking. Because of the narrowness of this area, we don’t have a lot of other choices that don’t include more expensive heated sidewalks and/or drainage improvements. We might also want to consider covered entries over the building doors on the north side of the building so that the roof would not send snow down on the ground in front of entries and entry walkways.
If and when the weight room facilities are relocated to a community recreation center at the school, we would recommend repurposing the downstairs cardio room to a lounge and TV room for teens. The second story of the old Town Hall would serve as storage for items used seasonally and for staff offices. We also recommend that storage areas be better organized and concealed so the building appears more “cleaned up” and attractive. We anticipate as the weight room and school gymnasium uses are relocated to the school; and the new restrooms and kitchen is available - the Armory will be easier to keep clean and will be more desirable for community and private events.
It would be our objective to ensure these improvements would continue to serve the entire community for decades to come.
We are anticipating that the costs for this project will $650,000 to $800,000. Here is an ballpark estimate to give you an idea. As we learn what the improvements the Armory actually needs, we’ll be able to be closer on the cost estimate
Pre-construction evaluation $10,000
Construction and bid documents $25,000
Construction one-story addition:
Full commercial kitchen, restrooms, shower
and changing area, 500 sq.ft. multi-purpose room,
ancillary space = app. 1500 sq. feet x $250 $375,000
Rewiring, structural repair, storage upgrades,
Entrance improvements and landscaping $40,000
Pre-construction subtotal $35,000
Construction subtotal $675,000
Estimated Total Cost $710,000
Contingency 10% of Construction $67,500
Grand Total Cost Estimate $777,500
Current Armory Fund: $128,000
Cash Donations: $200,000
In-kind donations (donated labor and materials) $49,500
Energy Impact Funds: (awarded June 2014) $400,000
Total Funding $777,500
In-kind donations (donated labor and materials) can come from community-donated labor and materials for decorating, appliances, storage cabinet construction, landscaping, boardwalk construction, garden planting, etc.
2014 Time Line if plan is approved tonight:
1. Staff will engage Ben White for preliminary engineering not to exceed $10,000 with an end of March deadline for reporting to BOT for workshop at their first meeting April 2 and final approval at their 2nd meeting in April. Financed out of existing Armory account.
2. CRC begins cash donation campaign for construction.
3. Trustees review staff recommendation for final design alternative and approve contract for preparation of construction and bid documents for June bidding process. Financed out of existing Armory account.
4. Apply for Tier 2 Energy Impact grant for construction in the amount of $400,000 from DOLA in April. Continue to work with CRC to solicit matching funds to the full cost of improvements.
5. Plan on construction start in June to coincide with the award of Energy Impact Funds. Begin to determine options for relocating summer uses to alternate facilities during Armory construction
6. Phase project so that Armory can be open as much as possible during the summer, and can be mostly open (at least restrooms and gymnasium) by the start of the school year.