Plans for new DPW building in Hadley advance

Hadley  04-19-2023

Hadley 04-19-2023

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 06-09-2024 2:01 PM

HADLEY — A next step in getting a new Department of Public Works headquarters built at 230-232 Middle St. is underway, with negotiations to hire an owner’s project manager starting before an architect is brought on board.

The Select Board on Wednesday gave the go ahead for the DPW Building Committee, chaired by James Maksimoski, to enter into negotiations with Colliers International for the services that will oversee, on behalf of the town, the entire project of rebuilding the DPW at its current site.

Colliers served a similar role as the town was building both the Hadley Senior Center and the North Hadley fire substation.

Makimoski told the Select Board the committee received four replies to requests for quotes and conducted interviews last month, with Colliers, CMS and P3 selected as finalists. The finalists were then narrowed further.

“All three seemed to be very capable companies, but we decided to choose Colliers,” Maksimoski said.

If Colliers works for the town again, a fee will be negotiated with the company. Then, Colliers will assist town officials in advertising for the architect to design the new headquarters, which will include offices, maintenance and storage bays and a new salt shed.

Town Meeting previously approved $225,000 for OPM and schematic design, but no money has yet been appropriated for actual construction of what could be a nearly $30 million project.

Annual Town Meeting in May approved acquiring a neighboring property that may be used as a temporary site for operations.

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The DPW headquarters is one of a handful of building projects the town is working on. Another is determining the future of the 1894 Russell School building and improvements to undertake at the former Goodwin Library.

Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan told the Select Board that Allegrone and AHF are handling a reuse study of Russell School and are moving along to the due diligence phase. This included creating a three-dimensional model of the building and a structural analysis. Allegrone will start to engage the public fairly soon, she said, with options for what use the building could be put to and clear cost estimates for any work on the building.

That comes after an effort to invest $1.24 million in Community Preservation Act money to stabilize the Russell School building didn’t move forward a year ago. The building was last used on a regular basis by North Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens before it moved to Sunderland.

The town also has work to do at the former Goodwin library building, making the building accessible and doing other improvements.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.