You may have noticed the new header picture at the top of the blog. It shows before/after images of a potential new town office building a block away from BMH on our town property on Lehner St. The images of a new 10,000 sq ft building were produced by Eric Paulson of SMP Architecs three years ago as part of the TOCAG project.
This whole area of downtown is slated to be upgraded with new streets, drainage, and sidewalks. It is literally a stones throw from Brewster Hall (OK maybe from the roof), and is adjacent to copious amounts of parking that is not otherwise in demand.
An 8,000 sq ft facility could be built there for less than $2 million, complete move-in condition. I would feel very comfortable with a “not-to-exceed” warrant article. A new building would be virtually maintenance free for years and could use 75% less energy than our 19th century historic monument.
Here’s an aerial view from the rear. It ties together the new parking, Foss Field, Downtown, Back Bay, and the Wolfeboro Falls business district. Downtown goes from being a one street affair to a multiple street town core. Town offices go from being up the hill out of the way to the epicenter of town activity.
Truth be told, I’m not too crazy about the design of the building depicted here, but picture it designed more like the Merideth Village Bank. Take a look at the space available in the rear. It is tied to the lower level parking with an elevator. The place could be built with or designed for expansion of the lower level to accommodate what is being referred to as a multi-generational center. A space for Senior activities, community center, and with the proximity to Foss Field, a place to support our Parks and Rec summer programs. All sharing meeting space, bathroom facilities, and janitorial services with the Town Offices.
There’s no dispute that Brewster Hall ultimately needs $4 million to make it a long term Town Office solution. At $200,000/year that’s twenty years. Then what? Start over? Why not do this right now for $2 million, and leave the preservationists to fix up the old place, with private funding, to be a monument to the Wolfeboro of a bygone era?