This morning the architects presented their proposed options to the Building Committee for the Dale Street municipal campus. Their preferred option was for a new 38,000 sq. ft. public safety building at the current site.
A second option included a 25.000 sq. ft. Park & Rec. behind the new public safety building, which had problem of eliminating most of the parking.
A third option was the re-purposing of the Dale Street School into a combined public safety and Park & Rec, with fire between current school and Pfaff, police in existing school, and Park & Rec in a new building on the Memorial School side.
Next option renovates existing police and fire into the fire alone and puts police where Pfaff is now.
Next option is the first option, but with Dale Street School re-purposed as the Park & Rec facility, with a new double gym built where the current classroom wing sits. This option is suggested as the most economic future re-use of the Dale Street School. Mass School Building Assistance will not pay towns to renovate schools when it is cheaper, as it probably is here, to build new. Also, to use it for public safety would trigger seismic and other building codes that make it uneconomic for public safety use. Using it for Park & Rec would not require renovations that would trigger the code mandated updates, thus making it more economically feasible. The gym could become a town auditorium.
Any re-use of Dale Street School is going to be more expensive than tearing it down and building new, due to renovations above 30% of its value (it is assessed for $5.4 m.) triggering upgrades to meet the newer building codes and the seismic code. Public safety in Dale St. would clearly cross the threshold, making it a too expensive option. Park & Rec there may not trigger those required upgrades, making it more feasible.
Question was raised of whether the existing Dale Street School building is of such significance to residents that they are willing to pay the large extra cost that it will require to re-use it, instead of the cheaper route of tearing it down and building new.