Capital Facilities Needs Committee
On December 16th the Board of Selectmen held a working session to start the conversation of a Town-wide Facilities Master Plan. The Board made significant progress on the matter. Outcomes of the conversation can be found below:
The Board of Selectmen will appoint a committee composed of the following:
- Voting Members
- Council on Aging Chair
- Recreation Commission Chair
- FinCom Chair
- Planning Board Chair
- Housing Authority Chair
- (2) Selectmen Appointed by the Chair
- School Committee Chair
- Conservation Commission Chair
- Ex-Officio Members
- Town Manager
- Planning Director
- COA Director
- Recreation Director
- Superintendent of Schools
- Executive Director of the Housing Authority
- Building Commissioner
Scope of the Committee:
The Capital Needs Committee will be tasked with developing strategic recommendations for the re-use, renovation, and / or possible disposition of all Town-Owned buildings, properties, and potential properties for the long term and short term needs in the Town of Billerica.
- Tier 1 Needs
- Council on Aging
- Tier 2 Needs
- Tier 3 Needs
- Fire Stations
This committee will also work under the assumption that the Sewer, Howe School, Pinehurst Fire Station, and DPW building are not part of the scope. It will also be understood that the Old Ditson and Vining School will be demolished.
MUNICIPAL FACILITIES MASTER PLAN AND SPACE NEEDS ANALYSIS
Over the course of the next 20 years the Town of Billerica will have to make many decisions about town owned parcels, future uses of buildings, potential new construction, and what department occupies what spaces. In an effort to determine current and future needs as well as priorities the idea of this committee was developed. It consists of stakeholders throughout Town Boards and Departments who will help guide the future of the Town.
The final goal will be to recommend to the Board of Selectmen and Town Meeting the roadmap of the future of our facilities, parcels of land, and next steps. To advance to that point will be a lengthy process. The next steps are laid out below.
A process like this will need to be conducted by experts in the field of master planning and space needs. The Town will put this project out to bid through the RFQ process. The Town will do the first round of interviews and bring back the most qualified to the committee for a final vote.
The first task of this committee is to create a scope of work or purpose that we would like the consultant to work within. This scope will make up the bulk of the RFQ. I have provided a guide below.
- Departmental programing evaluation to identify space needs
- Analysis of all Town Owned Buildings and Parcels of Land (including, Old Ditson, Masonic, Cider Mill, Vining Schoo, current COA and Recreation Buildingl)
- Creation of a maintenance schedule
- Identify critical issues and efficiencies through a review
- Plan for future community needs and trends including housing. (Senior, workforce, affordable, veteran.)
- Identify relocation opportunities and if needed new construction
- Long term recommendations regarding the future uses of the buildings in Town.
From that the consultant will work with the committee on the path forward. This will include progress updates, community meetings, community input sessions, and background work on the buildings. The deliverables that the town will be looking for in the end are below.
Executive Report Detailing current and future programming needs and recommendation on how to best use existing assets to meet those needs.
- Recommendations on what assets to retain and what assets may be used for other community purposes.
- Recommendations on feasibility studies that get into greater detail on specific program areas Establish expectations by suggesting timelines to realize these program and facility enhancements.
- Establish expectation of flexibility recognizing that needs could change due to constantly changing influences.
- Assess the financial resources needed to accomplish these goals and how these resources can be found.