WATERBURY — Public interviews next week will help local officials select an architectural firm to lead plans for a new municipal facility at the Waterbury state office complex.
Village and town officials and Waterbury Public Library commissioners have been eyeing two buildings at the flood-damaged state office complex for a facility that could include the village police department. The chosen firm will help weigh the pros and cons of renovating Stanley and Wasson halls or constructing a new facility there. The firm will also develop design plans.
“The biggest question is what we can do with Stanley and Wasson Hall, and I think that’s a good place to focus our efforts now,” said Select Board Chairman John Grenier. “I think we’re moving in a good direction.”
Four architecture firms are still in the running after the town received 11 applications. One-hour interviews, during which the public may listen in, will occur Monday and Wednesday night from 6 to 7 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Main Street fire station.
The firms being considered are Black River Design Architects, of Montpelier; Maclay Architects, of Waitsfield; Smith Alvarez Sienkiewycz Architects, of Burlington; and Wiemann Lamphere Architects, of Colchester.
The village, town and library boards will decide collectively which to hire.
Town board members anticipate a community meeting, possibly in November or December, when members of the public can give ideas about how they see the project proceeding. Another community meeting would likely address the costs of renovation or construction based on proposals from the chosen architectural firm, said Select Board member Rebecca Ellis.
Waterbury officials hope to decide by the end of December whether to construct a new facility or renovate existing buildings, Ellis said.
After that decision, the firm chosen will prepare schematic designs, including floor plans.
That design work will prepare the town for a bond vote, decided by ballot. Officials say the vote could occur around Town Meeting Day in March if the project moves along quickly.
Village and town officials have refused to make each architectural firm’s application public.
If Waterbury chooses to acquire property at the state office complex, a public hearing also will be required.
The state has been waiting to do demolition work at the state office complex because the Federal Emergency Management Agency is still evaluating damage there from Tropical Storm Irene to see what funding the state is eligible to receive.
Waterbury has not made a price offer for the state-owned property, Ellis said.
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