Select Board revives renovation plans for Mattapoisett Highway Department barn

Jan 16, 2022

MATTAPOISETT – The Select Board, Town Administrator and Highway Department will resume efforts to renovate the aging town highway barn. 

The building was constructed in 1950 and needs updates, officials stated, for fire safety, to help with the work that the department does and to improve the conditions for employees

Town officials would like to connect the building to town water, install a fire suppression system and a better catch basin for contaminants, remove one of the vehicle bays to add office space and improve the locker room at the facility.

Ramps must be added to make the barn more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and building expansion is needed to replace the bay that will be lost to office and locker room space, officials said.

The project would also include upgrades to the roof and other refurbishments.

In 2018, the town planned for a phased approach to the project, and it appeared in several different articles on Town Meeting warrants. 

Initially the town had wanted to change the water system at the town barn and install the fire suppression system and a catch basin and better drainage system for contaminants as phase 1 of the project. 

After installing an oil separator at the barn, the town had about $390,000 left from various Town Meeting articles for the rest of phase 1. However, when that phase of the project went out to bid in 2018, the low bid came back at around $450,000, and the project was put on hold as a result. 

Highway department staff have been able to make a number of the upgrades on their own. But the full scope of the project is too comprehensive for them to tackle. 

Stephen Kelleher Architects completed the initial design work on the project, and appeared before the Select Board on Jan. 11 to discuss how to move the project forward after a three-year hiatus. 

When the Select Board and Kelleher resumed talking about the project this year, they decided to tackle the project as a whole, instead of in phases, since getting design work for separate phases will ultimately cost the town more money. 

The Select Board and Kelleher know that the bid documents will need to be updated, and that prices for the project have likely increased since 2018. They now estimate the project will cost about $2 million, and are exploring a number of options for how the town will finance the work.

The project will likely appear at the first Town Meeting in 2022, and, if approved, would go out for bid over the summer. If the project is approved, construction is not likely to start until spring 2023.