2007-11-07 / News

Township launches hall upgrades

BY DON SCHELSKE
Editor, The Davison Index

Having shelved the idea of a new hall several months ago, Davison Township officials have launched projects to improve the current Irish Road facility.

Still to come is a potential major renovation inside, but already approved are new sidewalks, a new storage building and a new heating and cooling system.

At a special township board meeting Monday, Oct. 29, a space study committee requested up to $100,000 spending for inside work, including $75,000 to Goyette Mechanical for the new heating and cooling system.

An additional $150,000 may be needed if all duct work needs to be replaced, but officials said that would be determined after the committee decides which office areas may be reconfigured.

An alternate bid of $400,000 came from the THA architectural firm, but that is for a completely new system.

Randy Stewart, director of building and planning, said the $75,000 was "considerably less than anticipated" and complied with a request to divide the halls into "zones" which could have separate temperature controls.

The Goyette bid, "is the most reasonable thing to do," Stewart said.

Officials sought the bids because the units currently being used range from 15 to 27 years old and does not adequately handle the demand.

"We can’t get the system balanced out," Stewart said.

The extra $25,000 will be used by the committee for items such as new doors to the main meeting room and the hall leading to township offices. They will help reduce outside air flow and provide better security, officials said.

Stewart said some of the extra money could be used if rearrangement of offices causes extra expense for the new heating system.

"We voted to get on this, because winter is coming," said Trustee Tim Elkins, who chairs the space study committee. "We thought heating and cooling was the priority."

The committee is still working on possible alterations to the interior and exterior of the building.

Clerk Karen Miller urged the committee to talk to the employees before making their recommendations.

"This space committee, when they get into an area, don’t assume they know the best answer," she said. "Go to the people in that department and ask for their input."

The new 50-by-70 foot storage building is seen as a way to reduce crowding in the current hall, providing room for election equipment, "non-essential" police evidence, records, tools and the township’s emergency generator (currently housed on private property) used for sewer lift stations.

The building is expected to cost less than $84,000.

Elkins said the committee’s recommendations for the rest of the improvements is not likely to come until after the new year.

The board set the process in motion in August, approving separate but related projects, including the heating study, the storage building, and:

• $7,125 for rebuilt sidewalks to include handicapped ramps at barrier free entrances.

• $6,000 for removal of a berm and paving an area on the north side of the building to allow for police vehicle parking. The package also included installation of block heaters for police vehicles in response to a request from Chief Larry Hrinik, who said electronic equipment is draining batteries even when cars are not in service.

At their Oct. 15 meeting, the board approved $5,000 for a new driveway/parking area north of the new storage building.

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