Public eyes Middlebury building upgrade

MIDDLEBURY — Around 25 people came out on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to share their views about the prospect of a new, or improved, municipal building and gymnasium at the intersection of College and South Main streets.
The gathering in Middlebury’s municipal gym featured a presentation on the deficiencies within the current town offices and how the situation might be improved — either by building new, or by salvaging and expanding upon the existing structure. Middlebury-based Vermont Integrated Architects (VIA) developed those plans, explained in detail in the Dec. 1 issue of the Addison Independent.
Those attending the meeting were largely positive and constructive in their comments about the prospect of a municipal building project, according to Middlebury Town Planner Fred Dunnington. Local officials also heard from people concerned about the potential impact of such a project on the property tax rate, particularly in the context of other, more imminent proposals — such as a $4.8-million makeover of the local fire stations and the replacement of the Middlebury Union Middle School roof. The MUMS roof replacement could cost upwards of $1 million, though plans have not been finalized.
People at the Dec. 7 meeting also noted the extent to which the municipal gym is used and the importance of keeping it open and vital.
More public meetings will be held on a potential municipal building project during the months ahead. Officials are considering a 2013 vote on a plan.

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