Middlebury officials award road contract

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously supported two new investments in the ongoing fire station improvement projects to make the two buildings even more durable for the future.
First, the board OK’d a proposal to equip station one on Seymour Street and station two in East Middlebury with an epoxy floor treatment that will make the surface more durable and less susceptible to slips for firefighters moving in haste while responding to a call.
Middlebury Fire Department Lt. Pat Shaw, who led an ad hoc committee that planned the voter-approved $4.625-million makeover of the two stations, said the epoxy flooring was an option that had been eliminated from the project during the early stages in order to keep the budget in check. But favorable construction weather and bids have left a project contingency fund of more than $300,000, leaving the fire department and contractor Bread Loaf Corp. confident of enough flexibility to bring quarter-inch epoxy flooring back into the picture. Estimated price for such a system in both stations: $65,000, based on the lowest of four bids received from Brandon-based Vermont Protective Coatings.
“I would expect 50 years out of the floor, at a minimum,” said Chris Huston, architecture operations manager for Bread Loaf.
Selectboard members said they believed such an investment makes sense, as long as the project remains under budget. It’s a project that involves renovation and expansion of the Seymour Street fire station while replacing the East Middlebury station with a smaller, more practical and energy-efficient structure.
“We are building this for a long time, so let’s get it right,” said Selectman Nick Artim.
The board also endorsed placing a standing seam metal roof on the new East Middlebury station, instead of a less-costly asphalt version that had been budgeted. Town Manager Bill Finger brought forth the idea for a metal roof, noting the healthy contingency fund and the extra durability of metal.
Officials believe that because of the basic layout of the station roof, a metal surface could be installed at roughly $3,000 to $4,000 more than the planned asphalt version.
Meanwhile, Shaw said work on both stations in proceeding smoothly and according to plan.
“The town of Middlebury taxpayers are getting what they asked for,” Shaw said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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