New town office project out to bid

Waitsfield has put its new town office project out to bid. Bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. on March 16.

A town office task force committee and subsequently a town office design committee have been working toward this end since 2012. Waitsfield will be building new town offices on a parcel of land at the north end of Waitsfield Village known as The Farm Stand.

It took voters several votes to gain approval for this site, which is adjacent to the Flemer barns and the former Flemer polo field. There was strong interest in having the town rehabilitate the former Methodist Church in the village instead of building a new building.

After three votes and the receipt of a large monetary donation as well as a large Community Development Block Grant, the plan to build at The Farm Stand passed in the fall of 2013. Voters authorized the town to borrow up to $650,000.

When voters approved the project, it was proposed at 3,069 square feet on a single floor with the second floor left unfinished. The cost was estimated at $1,203,788. Factoring in the $100,000 donation the town received to purchase the land and the $750,000 Vermont Community Development Block Grant, the bond amount was estimated to be $453,788.

Last year at Town Meeting, the town office design committee brought to voters a slightly changed project. This version had had its footprint reduced and included finishing the second floor. The square footage changed from 3,069 to 4,248 with the second floor.

At that time, the estimated cost, excluding design and architectural costs, was $1,181,312. The members of the design committee include Chris Pierson, Corinthia Richards, Valerie Capels, Tom Buczkowski, Peter Reynells, Scott Kingsbury, Brian Shupe and Charlie Goodman.

The final design documents and cost estimates are $1,346,162 with the town’s share (after the donation and grant) coming in at $596,262.

The town has received the state permits it needs for the project and is working on its local permits. There will be a pre-bid meeting in the basement meeting room of Waitsfield United Church of Christ on March 5 at 9 a.m.

The town anticipates the project getting started this spring.