Bristol eyes two new municipal buildings
BRISTOL — The town of Bristol has begun to plan for the possibility of two new buildings — one for the Department of Public Works (DPW) and one for the Bristol Police Department (BPD).
And depending on how things go, those two building could end up attached to each other.
Because of COVID-19, the Bristol selectboard is a few months behind the schedule it had hoped to follow this year, but one major phase has been completed: a building site and needs analysis, which was conducted by Bread Loaf Corporation and presented to the board.
The study was originally intended to focus on providing new digs for the DPW but it was eventually expanded to include the possibility of building a police station on the same site.
The Bristol police are currently renting space at the Bristol Works complex on Munsill Avenue.
The proposed new buildings would occupy the same site as the existing town garage complex.
That complex consists of seven buildings on 14.7 acres at the easternmost end of Pine Street, not far from Mount Abraham Union High School.
Existing structures include:
• “green barn” (2,800 square feet), built in the 1960s, with five bays.
• “gray barn” (2,560 square feet), built around 30 years ago, with two bays.
• 384-square-foot storage building.
• 240-square-foot dog pound, unused, which a veterinarian has deemed unusable for that purpose.
• scale house.
• waste-oil collection building.
• metal fuel tank.
An adjoining 2.4-acre lot to the north is also owned by the town and includes a 2,400-square-foot salt shed, built in 2010, and a 1,200-square-foot enclosed shed roof addition, built in 2012, for equipment storage.
Neither of DPW’s main buildings — the green barn and the gray barn — is in danger of falling down, Bread Loaf Project Architect Steve Rooney told the selectboard at its Nov. 2 meeting. “They’re both structurally sound…. They’ve been decently taken care of over the years.”
But, he concluded, “they are tired.”
They’re also a bit too tight for current DPW needs, Rooney said. The bays are not wide enough or deep enough for certain DPW needs, and crews are having to shoehorn equipment into the buildings.
As part of his presentation, Rooney showed the selectboard two conceptual plans for new buildings.
Option A would house the DPW and BPD in separate structures on the site, allotting 9,950 square feet for public works and 3,915 square feed for Bristol Police.
Option B would house the two departments in attached structures, allotting 8,603 square feet for DPW needs and 3,907 for the police station.
In addition, the plans call for building a 9,300-square-foot fabric sand shelter — similar to the ones used in New Haven and Starksboro — next to the existing salt shed on the smaller northern lot.
Neither option will be possible without making adjustments for unstable soil on the site, however.
As Bread Loaf noted in its presentation, “The soils on the available development are of questionable bearing capacity, and are noted (in some places) to be unsuitable for a depth of 60 (inches)…. A full geotechnical study may be required and depending on the results, it may require a sizeable effort to remove these soils down to native materials and then backfill and compact with materials capable of supporting required building loads.”
The selectboard green-lighted the study and Bread Loaf hired Knight Consulting to drill for and analyze soil samples.
According to its Dec. 8 report, Knight determined that the soil at the DPW site should either be stabilized or completely removed and replaced with fill that’s more appropriate for building.
Similarly, Knight advised that fill should be replaced before paving any parking lots.
The findings, while not entirely unexpected, point to an additional set of decisions the town will have to make before proceeding to more advanced phases of the project.
The selectboard plans to resume project discussions at a future meeting.
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].
This past Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, saw almost 60 people converge upon the 1,400-square-foot … (read more)
Two state lawmakers are urging Addison County folks not to ease up on efforts to battle cl … (read more)