The Steamship Authority Board of Governors and Port Council approved a single-story, flat-roof design for the new Woods Hole terminal last week.
The approved design, which is 1,100 square feet smaller than previous concepts and calls for a two-story utility building, responds to concerns from Woods Hole residents raised at a public forum in June about the new terminal blocking the view of the harbor.
During its meeting November 19 the board of governors requested that the project’s architect, Boston-based BIA.studio, create detailed schematics.
Before the board gave approval, Kathryn Wilson, Falmouth’s representative to the board of governors, presented the plan—along with Steamship Authority staff—to the Woods Hole Community Association and the Woods Hole Business Association.
In early October Steamship Authority general manager Robert B. Davis presented the single-story design to the Falmouth Board of Selectmen and received largely encouraging feedback.
The approved design reduces the proposed size of the new terminal building from 6,700 to 5,600 square feet. Although an earlier design placed it on the center of the site, Mr. Davis said, the intent is to place it as far north as possible.
The main building has a flat roof with a canopy over the bus pickup and drop-off area. Solar panels will be placed atop the roof, which will allow the Steamship Authority to generate 52 percent of the building’s energy use. Mechanical equipment will be located inside the terminal building, rather than on the roof.
The building will have an elevation of 13 feet and be accessible via ramp and stairs. It will contain a waiting room, a ticket office, a cash room, a vending area, an employee break room, restrooms, an agent office and a terminal manager’s office.
It will be supported by a two-story utility building that needs to be expanded to accommodate a smaller terminal building. The proposed concept shows it increased in size from a proposed 4,700 to 7,200 square feet. The expansion turns the previously uninhabitable utility building into one that is habitable.
The utility building will also house oil, equipment and consumable storage rooms, trash and recycling, an employee locker room, a telecommunications room, a break room, and a multipurpose room for employee training.
Mr. Davis said during the October meeting that the redesign will need to get approval from the appeals board for its base elevation and from the conservation commission for the expanded utility building, as well as input from the historical commission.
The approved plan will cost approximately $3 million more than the initial two-story concept, with a portion of that increase driven by making the utility building habitable, Mr. Davis said.
“What we’ve heard so far about the plan has all been positive,” Steamship Authority communications director Sean F. Driscoll said Wednesday, November 27.
“As far as the costs go, we’re still at the concept stage right now, and we’re going to have more firm numbers after this, but the total goes from about $10 million for the original two-story proposal to about $13 million,” he said.