The Department of Public Works outlined some very preliminary plans to renovate and expand Town Hall in its budget presentation to all three town bodies Tuesday night. Construction costs were estimated at about $12 million, if and when the project moves forward.

Included in its budget for this upcoming fiscal year is a $720,000 architectural service fee, approximately 6 percent of the construction costs.

"That's the number that is in the budget for the Town Hall," Director of Public Works Michael Pastore said.

Renovating and expanding Town Hall is one of the potential scenarios that are being explored by the Long Range Planning Committee, specifically, scenario two from a previous draft of its master plan. That scenario was discussed and shown to the public by the Long Range Planning Committee in the summer.

"Again, I should point out that their report is not finished," Pastore said. "So we're kind of jumping ahead, but this is the scenario that's on the draft."

Town hall has 28,130 square feet of space, but only around 18,000 square feet are used efficiently, according to the draft.

The scenario being explored by Public Works proposes a demolition of the auditorium and rear portion of the building, about 10,000 square feet, in order to renovate nearly 14,000 square feet and making the total size of the renovated structure 34,000 square feet.

This option, however, would limit parking spaces behind Town Hall, decreasing the number of spaces from 64 to 20, according to Pastore. In that scenario, consultants suggested that 57 town employees could park at the Locust Avenue lot, which could potentially become a tiered lot.

The tiered lot at Locust Avenue has been a suggestion coming out of many studies, including the Long Range Plan and the Market Demand Study, and it is something Public Works hopes to move forward with, along with the renovation.

"Again, the proposal is Locust, it's the architectural services and it's to come back to a $12 million construction," Pastore said.

Another fee associated with the project would include relocating the Town Hall employees during construction and Pastore estimates that will cost around $1.15 million. As of right now, Pastore said the project timeline would be somewhere around three years if they go along with the budget cycle.

The proposal and project will be discussed at future budget meetings. Public Works meets with the Board of Selectmen as the third group of the day Tuesday, while they are the first group to meet with the Board of Finance Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

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