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Public works renovation considered

A presentation regarding a master plan for the public works facility in Farmville was presented at the Dec. 6 Farmville Town Council work session, laying out the possibility of a renovation of the current public works facility.

Gerald Spates

“We’re basically just looking at the options and what the next step is from here,” Town Manager Gerald Spates said regarding the presentation.

He said they have a couple things to look at.

“One is whether or not we’re going to move the salt storage, move it down to where the fuel site is and build a small building down there and that way, give us more space up at the shop where we’re at,” Spates said. “The idea is to build it on the same property that we’re on now.”

Chris Phillips, a project manager from engineering-architecture firm Thompson & Litton, presented the information that detailed their possible work.

“We identified these key issues and one of them, obviously, is trying to build within the current site constraints and use the property that you have,” Phillips said. “The other big issue is if we’re going to think about a complete master plan and renovation, how do we keep the other parts of this operating while all this is going on, so it’s quite a big task, You know those guys really, really do so much, so you can’t interrupt those functions.”

He said stormwater management since July 2015 has completely changed as federal regulations have been handed down.

“It changes the way engineers and owners have to approach stormwater management. Right now that is a major concern that needs to be addressed,” Phillips said.

He said the existing facilities are aging and the functionality has been adapted, re-adapted and repurposed over several years as best as can be done.

“They’re doing a fantastic job, but we think they’re reaching the end of that usefulness, so how do we make that better? Accessibility — you know, the one thing when I went to be with (Robin Atkins) is that I couldn’t find the front door. How does the public find their way into the building?” Phillips said. “Right now they have to go through the warehouse. So that’s a big concern, but they do have a public interface.”

He said overall Thompson & Litton has completed the programming and knows what the public works facility needs.

“So we have a site plan, we had a survey, we had an environmental report now we have a program,” Phillips said. “We know how big the building needs to be. The next step is to go into conceptual design alternatives.”

He said the last section of the report is conclusions and recommendations.

“For now it says to be completed upon review from the town manager,” Phillips said. “Once we’ve accommodated Gerry’s comments, we’ll be complete with our scope of work.”