The Planning Board unanimously adopted at its Oct. 14 meeting the Town’s proposed FY2017-FY2022 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP), which ranks Central Fire Station renovations as a top priority.
The CIP calls for funding in FY17 an architectural and engineering study for the proposed renovations, at a cost of $75,000, and construction costs up to $3.5 million in FY18.
Londonderry Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Zins said the renovations are necessary to provide enough room for the growing department to continue to meet the service needs of the community.
Member Mary Soares asked if the parcel on which Central Station is located is large enough to accommodate the expansion.
Most likely, the improvements would expand the facility into dry land between the current station and the Leach Library, according to Zins.
“The architectural and engineering study will answer those types of questions. Part of the architecture and engineering study is to see how big the property is and to determine if we can get that renovation to fit on the parcel,” he said.
The Fire Department renovations project was moved up in the CIP with a unanimous vote of the CIP Committee in August.
Constructed in 1978, the building is failing to meet the department’s needs, and their communication structure is aging.
Describing the Fire Department’s need for the renovations, Fire Chief Darren O’Brien has said they have “utilized every possible inch of the building for some sort of function.”
Additionally, the CIP moved the proposed high school auditorium project back, funding architectural and engineering at $500,000 in FY18 and construction at $9 million in FY19; and moved up to FY20 the proposed $2.1 million reconstruction of the School District Office.
Building the new School District Office would address poor air quality issues and overcrowding in the existing building.
Both the new SAU office and high school auditorium remain Priority 2 projects, needed within three years to maintain the basic level and quality of community services. A warrant article to fund the auditorium study was defeated at the polls.
Other projects included in the CIP are expansion of the Senior Center, a priority 2 project that is funded at $75,000 for architectural and engineering in FY17 and $675,000 for construction in FY18; Pettengill Road sewer construction, a priority 2 project funded at $700,000 in FY17; an engineering analysis to establish the technical feasibility and estimated costs of various proposed outdoor recreation improvements, a priority 3 project, funded at $100,000 in FY17; construction of the South Londonderry Phase II sewer project, a priority 4 project, funded at $3.6 million in FY17; and the extension of sewer infrastructure in the Mammoth Road area of the “North Village,” a priority 4 project, funded at $410,481 in FY17.
The adopted FY17-FY22 CIP will now move on to the School Board and Town Council for final approval.