Mashpee Officials Propose $11 Million In Capital Projects
By: Brian Kehrl
Town officials are set to begin considering how to finance more than an estimated $11 million of capital improvements over the next six years, with Town Manager Joyce M. Mason suggesting for the first time publicly this week that a large bond may be needed to cover infrastructure improvements.
The Mashpee Planning and Construction Committee on Tuesday night backed a capital plan identifying 26 priority capital projects and a proposed schedule running out to Fiscal Year 2017.
Ms. Mason, who attended the committee meeting on Tuesday, said she will soon take the list to the Mashpee Capital Improvement Project Committee for further review and consideration of how best to finance them. She said she will be working to develop a more precise cost estimate over the next few weeks
She said the project schedule will depend in large part on how the projects will be funded, whether by a single large debt exclusion or more incrementally through the town’s regular capital program.
She said she expects to bring the plan before Town Meeting and voters this May.
The projects included in the plan were largely drawn from a detailed building condition assessment performed on Mashpee Town Hall, the Mashpee Archives, the Mashpee Police Station, the Mashpee High School/Mashpee Middle School building, the Quashnet School, and the Kenneth C. Coombs School.
The ranked list of priority projects approved this week by the Mashpee Planning And Construction Committee:
* Town hall roof replacement: $100,000
* Coombs school roof replacement: $400,000
* Police station roof partial replacement: $35,000
* Quashnet school roof repair: $55,000
* Various buildings floor replacement: $150,000
* Archives parking lot expansion: $150,000
* Coombs school HVAC engineering: $190,000
* Town hall HVAC/duct work: $130,000
* Police station HVAC replacement: $295,000
* Coombs school HVAC replacement: $2.4 million
* DPW storage garage improvements: $500,000
* Quashnet school HVAC/window engineering: $360,000
* Quashnet school HVAC/window replacement: $4.5 million
* Town hall expansion: $675,000
* Town hall new septic system: $100,000
* Town hall parking lot lighting improvements: $200,000
* Police station parking lot lighting improvements: $100,000
* Coombs school windows replacement: Cost to be determined
* Quashnet/Coombs wastewater treatment connection: TBD
* Quashnet parking lot lighting/reconstruction: $500,000
* South Cape Beach bathhouse: TBD
* Town hall boilers replacement: $50,000
* Fire station generator replacement: $75,000
* Fire station parking lot lighting improvements: $50,000
* Police station plumbing replacement: $55,000
* Coombs school plumbing fixtures replacement: $95,000
The capital needs assessment study, completed this fall by consulting engineers, identified $11.9 million in repairs needed to bring the buildings up to fire or handicapped-access code, to replace failing building systems, or to improve the performance of the buildings.
The recommendations in the report range from repairing leaky roofs and upgrades to low-flow faucets to replacing rusty windows and broken ventilation systems. The cost estimates range from $500 to install exit signs in the Coombs school gymnasium to meet Massachusetts fire code to $3.9 million to replace the Quashnet heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
The 32-year-old Quashnet School faces the most costly repairs, largely due to the HVAC system. But the report also suggests replacing all of the windows in the school, at a cost of $500,000, and another half-million dollars for a new sprinkler system that covers the entire school.
The cafeteria HVAC units have been abandoned in place and are no longer operable. The Mashpee School Committee this fall applied for a state grant to replace the broken units, but Mashpee Department of Public Works Director Catherine A. Laurent said this week that the grant did not come through.
“Significant aspects of the Quashnet School building envelop components are severely degraded and can no longer be anticipated to provide an extended service life,” according to the report.
A host of smaller repairs are also identified at the Coombs school, with the exception of one big ticket item: $2.4 million to replace the HVAC system.
The remainder of the recommendations are upgrades like $40,000 for emergency lighting and $10,000 for room signs to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Because the buildings are older, they are not required to comply with the ADA regulations.
The high school and middle school building is in generally good condition, though the roof has several leaks.
“Our findings indicate that the concerns of roof leakage do not appear to be indicative of chronic problems, but rather are isolated anomalies which can be reasonably repaired and the roof system can be anticipated to provide an extended service life,” according to the report.
There are four main leaky areas, including the teachers lounge and weight-training room.
Overall, however, there were no substantial capital expenditures suggested for the next 10 years.
Town hall also has a leaky roof, but contractors recommend replacing the roof system of the whole northern section of the building, as well as parts of the cupola.
The most expensive items recommended at town hall are for $72,000 to integrate the temperature controls with the town building management system and $45,000 to replace the existing boiler with a more efficient machine.
The police station, too, is in generally good condition, though the contractors recommended replacing 30 existing heat pump units at a total cost of $75,000.
The report also recommends replacing the existing cooling tower within five years, at an estimated cost of $55,000.
The Condition Of Town Buildings
* Mashpee High School/Middle School
• Built in 1995
• 180,000 square feet
• $1,429,000 total repairs identified in new report
* Quashnet School
• Built in 1978, added to in 1993
• 130,000 square feet
• $6,220,000 total repairs identified
* Kenneth C. Coombs School
• Built in 1987
• 80,000 square feet
• $3,034,500 total repairs identified
* Mashpee Town Hall
• Built in 1930, renovated in 1996
• 18,000 square feet
• $374,250 total repairs identified
* Mashpee Police Station
• Built in 1978, expanded in 1990
• 19,000 square feet
• $658,100 total repairs identified
* Mashpee Archives
• Built in 1965
• 2,000 square feet
• $163,650 total repairs identified
The cell block and the detective meeting room need new ventilation systems.
The police station also has a leaky roof. “Conditions of leakage are based on detail deficiencies and not otherwise indicative of systems-wide failure,” according to the report.
The small archives building was found to be in need of more than $160,000 in repairs and upgrades, including adding a dedicated fire alarm for the whole building, installing an elevator or chairlift to access the basement, and fixing a leak from the basement door.
The electrical system needs upgrading as well, according to the report. The archive staff and volunteers have been using long extension cords around the building because there are not enough outlets. Most of the outlets are in poor condition.
Ms. Laurent pared down the recommendations in the report, and added several other projects, to come up with the list of capital improvement priorities that the committee voted to support at the meeting on Tuesday evening. She said she ranked the roof leaks generally higher than the HVAC issues at the schools.
The planning and construction committee had just a few questions for Ms. Mason and Ms. Laurent.
Committee member Irving B. Goldberg questioned why a new parking lot for the archives building is included on the list of projects he said otherwise seem critical in nature.
Ms. Mason said the parking lot is part of a deal with the nearby Mashpee Baptist Church. With the proposed reconstruction of Great Neck Road North, the town wanted to realign Collins Lane, which now runs to the south of the church. So in exchange for giving the town an easement for Collins Lane, the town agreed to install a parking lot to be shared by the church and the archives. She said the deal has not been formally signed.
Committee member Delor J. Ellis asked Ms. Mason why a representative from the company that compiled the report, Pomroy Associates, was not at the meeting to answer questions, indicating that Ms. Mason had told him someone would be at the meeting this week.
Ms. Mason said she would invite a representative from the company to a future meeting, but she asked committee members to submit their questions in advance so that the guest can be prepared.
After the meeting, she said she did not intend to give Mr. Ellis the impression that a representative of the company would be attending the meeting on Tuesday.
The $64,000 study was performed by Pomroy Associates, the project manager for the new Mashpee Public Library and the South Mashpee Fire Substation.
It was funded by a vote at Town Meeting.
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