The municipal facility at the former is finally open for business.
There’s still a lot of work to be done before the center is fully functional, but in walking through the halls of the lower level Wednesday, staff in the town’s Planning, Engineering and Zoning departments had their phone lines working, the computers turned on and customers coming to each department.
When the tiles are laid in the halls later this week and the last furniture and shelving moved in from , staff said Wednesday that they will be happy to call the new municipal center home.
“It’s coming along nice and it’ll be good to have some added space to move,” said Assistant Town Planner David Lavallee.
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Assistant Town Engineer Annette S. Turnquist said so far, the transition has been smoother than the town initially anticipated, with phone lines and computer equipment being functional the second they were plugged in on Tuesday afternoon.
“We were promised it would be, but you never know what to expect,” Turnquist said. “When I plugged them in, everything worked without a single issue.”
There’s also some more good news – new traffic lights should be calibrated in the next few weeks and Borghesi Building and Engineering is on schedule to complete parking lot construction, as well as construction within the rest of the building, by the time the and departments, the last departments scheduled to move, make the North Center location their home at the end of August.
The move is almost two years in the making, after early concerns regarding the project led to delays before the construction phase could even get underway.
Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission including Paul Chaplinsky and Steve Kalkowski expressed concerns regarding how the move would affect the downtown area, .
But once construction started, town officials said there were numerous challenges.
Turnquist said Borghesi found several unexpected environmental challenges including an underground tank, which added to delays. Despite these challenges, however, she said the project remains on budget.
Garry Brumback said Tuesday afternoon that he is pleased with the way things are progressing.
Brumback said although construction will continue for the next month, the town has been granted the proper go ahead to continue with their move. offices, which will be located on the lower level as well, is the next to move in followed by the Board of Education in early August.
“The most critical piece of their move will be the server and Borghesi has agreed to provide poly in order to prevent dust as they complete their work,” Brumback said.
“As each of the remaining departments move, there could be some moments were services as limited, but it will be short and temporary. Things are underway and we expect the transition will be as seamless as possible.”
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