Committee Recommends Engineering Firm For New Town Hall Building

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East Hampton Town Hall could have a new addition in a matter of a year, if all goes according to plan.

Alex Walter, representing the East Hampton Town Board’s committee on space needs, at Tuesday’s work session recommended the board select L.K. McLean Associates of Brookhaven to design and complete a brand new Town Hall building to replace the old, vacant building.

According to Supervisor Larry Cantwell, the concept is to get all the departments onto one campus and to do it in an efficient way, even if it means demolishing the old Town Hall building, which was built in the 1960s and currently sits vacant behind the new offices, and building anew.

According to Mr. Walter, there were eight proposals submitted to the town’s request for proposals for the project in February and only three rose to the top.

L.K. McLean said it could do the job—the oversight of design, construction, bidding, permitting and the environmental process—for approximately $345,000.

The other two businesses—Island Structures Engineering of West Islip and Stott Architecture of Southampton—proposed to complete the project at approximately $292,000 and $590,000, respectively.

What convinced Mr. Walter and the committee, which is comprised town officials, including members of the town’s Planning Department, and consulting engineer Drew Bennett, to select L.K. McLean was its team and its incorporation of technology and security.

“We thought the team they put together specifically took into consideration architecture and technology,” Mr. Walter said. “In their interview, they came across much more comprehensive than the other two.”

According to Mr. Cantwell, the hub of the town’s telephone and computer systems sit in the basement of the old building, which does not have heat or humidity control. “It’s scary at the very least,” he said.

Mr. Walter said L.K. McLean would be able to configure that need for a technology hub into its design.

The specifics won’t be known until the bid is awarded and the architectural design is formulated.

During the Bill Wilkinson administration, the town had set aside more than $500,000, which had been awarded to the town for reducing its deficit and lowering taxes during the 2010-11 fiscal year, to restore the building.

None of the three bidders recommended rehabilitating the building, according to Mr. Walter. Part of the old building’s foundation may be used, however.

All in all, Mr. Cantwell said the town has a plan to put together $1 million in total for the project and could also get a good deal of money by selling its Pantigo Place suites.

According to L.K. McLean’s proposal, the project could be totally completed in approximately a year’s time, which was the shortest time frame any of the bidders estimated.

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