The 3 Bow Center Road building serves solely as the Community Building for recreational activities. The former Fire Station is being used primarily for storage. (Melissa Proulx/Correspondent)
BOW — Three options are being explored for a new use for the town’s Community Building.
The 60-year-old building needs serious improvements and upgrades. In 2013, the State Fire Marshal inspected the building and sent the town a violation letter, saying it had three years to bring the building up to compliance.
Along with community events and clubs, the building also housed the town’s Fire Department trucks and equipment. Sleeping quarters were moved to the Coffin Building behind the Community Building.
The Fire Marshal also gave the town a required schedule of when improvements should be made, saying that the building would need to be in compliance by Sept. 15, 2016, to continue as is.
Though some recreation events are still held in the building — like Zumba and other exercise classes — the town’s Fire Department has since relocated across the street to the new Safety Center on Knox Road.
The options being considered are 1.) only making the repairs to bring the building up to code; 2.) making the required repairs and rehabilitating it to allow it to be used longer; or 3.) demolishing the whole building to make room for a new facility.
Selectman Chairman Harry Judd said no option has been picked yet.
“We have yet to form a plan,” Judd said. “We’re pulling together numbers.”
Some estimates are already in after voters approved a $42,000 study of the site in 2016.
For example, life safety code compliance costs are estimated to be just over $117,000. This could be knocked down to $44,250 if the town opts not to put a new hood and fire suppression system in the building’s kitchen.
There are also some hazardous materials that will need to be removed from the building.
“We know there’s asbestos,” Judd said.
This could cost the town anywhere between $75,000 and $100,000 to take care of ADA compliance, electrical and heating repairs will also need to be made to the building.
These final numbers should be ready in the coming weeks. From there, Judd said the selectmen will decide which option they think will be the best to pursue and present that to voters.
“We want to go to Town Meeting in March with a status report for the town and a plan going forward,” Judd said.