Proposed Department of Public Works Facility

Published on Friday, 3/9/2001 12:00 am | by Department of Public Works | Automatically Archived on 3/23/2001

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What is the Project?
The project is first and foremost an effort to replace several dangerous, inadequate, inefficient, and costly buildings with one that will remove a liability for the town, protect our valuable employee and vehicle assets and improve services. Secondarily, the project affords the town the opportunity to add office space in an economical manner to relieve crowding at the Flynn Building.


What Facilities Does the Town Currently Use for Public Works?
Currently, the town has a DPW site at 275 Old Lancaster Road that has four buildings:
An 8,800 sq. ft. garage, built in 1956, where vehicles and equipment, such as dump trucks, front-end loaders, backhoes, and a sweeper are stored and serviced.
An attached Office Building where 22 employees work, including a secretary, a management analyst, the streets and roads superintendent, one foreman, one mechanic, and 17 highway division employees.
A separate wooden Salt Shed, approximately 2,100 sq. ft.
A Filling Station for town and school vehicles (excluding buses), with underground tanks for 10,000 gallons of gasoline and 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel.


Also, the Park & Recreation Division uses an 80-year-old 2,166 sq. ft. building located at Featherland Park, and the Trees & Cemeteries Division uses a 60-year-old 1,092 sq. ft. building located behind the parking lot at Noyes School.


What is Wrong with These Buildings?
There are multiple deficiencies with all these buildings that make them unsafe to use and inadequate:


1. Building deterioration. The biggest identifiable risk at this time is the potential for a roof collapse. Some of the consequences from such a collapse include:
    a. Injury to employees
    b. Damage or destruction to DPW equipment (estimated value – $2 million)
    c. Inability of the DPW to perform their functions during a crisis situation
    d. Legal liabilities of such a loss
    e. Financial costs of such a loss


Additionally, the Park & Rec. building is already failing due to lateral earth pressure. There was another building at the Lancaster site that was condemned and had to be demolished in 1996.


2. Fire safety and risks. The garage building does not meet current code in a number of these areas. There is not an adequate fire suppression system, the means of egress in case of a fire are inadequate, and the building has many system problems that lead to a higher chance of a fire.


3. Health and safety risks for employees. Inadequate ventilation raises the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a risk of injury to employees from vehicles currently stored so closely together. Recurrent flooding after every rainstorm brings electrical and other hazards to the mechanics office.


4. Environmental risks. The subsurface wastewater disposal system needs to be upgraded. We need better facilities for salt and sand storage. Drainage needs to be improved at the site, and there is a need to remediate wetlands buffer zone encroachments.


Besides these major deficiencies that can cause liability and significantly interfere with our ability to provide services for the Town, there are other shortcomings of our facilities. There are numerous ADA and discrimination issues, a lack of adequate bathroom facilities, the electrical systems at all the buildings are old and inadequate, the heating systems are inadequate and expensive to run at the garage site, and the Park & Recreation and Trees & Cemeteries buildings have no heat at all, and the noise levels at the garage site are too high for employees.


If you would like to see assorted outdoor pictures of the Main DPW facility (Click Here for Outdoor Pictures of DPW)
If you would like to see equipment that is left outside because of lack of space and how the elements deteriorate this equipment. (Click Here for Equipment exposed to the elements)


Why Not Just Repair the Facilities?
A consultant’s report shows that the degree of deterioration alone to the garage is so great, it would cost as much to repair the structural failures and replace all the system problems as it would to construct a new building. And just doing the repair and replacement would not give the additional storage and work space that is needed. It also does not address the structural problems with the other buildings, and leaves DPW vehicles and equipment scattered inefficiently throughout the town.


What Will Replace These Failing Facilities?
The Town is proposing to construct a new building at 275 Old Lancaster Road with two parts. The first part is a 34,200 sq. ft. heated garage that is structurally sound and safe with electrical, heating, fire suppression and other key systems that are up to code and compliant with all environmental regulations. This size building will have sufficient room to store all DPW vehicles and equipment including Park & Recreation and Trees & Cemeteries equipment and enough room for the mechanics to work on vehicles safely. The second part of the building is an attached 8,350 sq ft office building that will share a wall with the garage. This office building will be able to accommodate the office needs of the current DPW staff, including Highway, Park & Recreation and Tree & Cemeteries staff, as well as the engineering division. Additionally, the Town proposes to put a second story on the office building, and create office space for the Building Inspector, Planning Office, Conservation Office, and the Board of Health. These offices would move from the Flynn Building down to this site, relieving overcrowding at the Flynn Building.


What Will This New Facility Cost?
Based on plans developed in 1994 and updated for current construction costs, the Town is asking for $4.7 million dollars to undertake this project. Of this total, $1 million is for the additional office space; the balance is for the garage building and related DPW office space. This works out to a tax impact of $92 in the highest year, with an overall average of $74 per year, for a house valued at $360,000.


What Approvals Are Needed Before the Project Can Begin?
There will be a ballot question on the March 26, 2001 election asking for approval of a debt exemption to fund the project, and an article at the Annual Town Meeting, which begins April 2, 2001.


What Will The New Facility Look Like?
Below is a preliminary sketch of the proposed garage plus office building. The office building is shown here as a one story building, but the plans will be updated to produce a two story office building.


Where Can I Get More Information?
Sudbury residents are welcome to visit the Public Works Facility on 275 Old Lancaster Road. If you have any questions or would like any additional information you can telephone Bill Place, DPW Director at 978-443-8891, x389, Email: engineering@town.sudbury.ma.us or Maureen Valente, Town Manager at 978-443-8891, x385, Email: selectmen@town.sudbury.ma.us.

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