Brunswick Town Hall move could be accelerated

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BRUNSWICK — The town could move into its new Town Hall a month earlier next year and save some money in the process.

However, the project budget for renovations at what is now the McLellan Building at 85 Union St. will not be known until later this month.

Town Manager Gary Brown on Monday said the town could occupy the first two floors of the building by mid-March 2014 because of coordinated work being done by the construction management company, Warren Construction.

Brown had originally estimated an April 2014 move-in date.

The plan to move out of the existing Town Hall at 28 Federal St. has been in the works since a land swap agreement with Bowdoin College was approved by the Town Council in October 2011.

In the agreement, the council agreed to give Bowdoin the former Longfellow School in exchange for the McLellan Building.

As part of the agreement, Bowdoin will be allowed to occupy the third floor of the new Town Hall, with no rent payments for up to 10 years, after the town takes ownership.

After the town stops using Room 217 of Brunswick Station as its Council Chambers, which it has been renting from Bowdoin for the past few years, Bowdoin will vacate the first two floors at 85 Union St.

Brown said because Bowdoin also hired Warren Construction to renovate Room 217 into a human resources office after the town leaves, the construction manager will be able work on renovation projects for Bowdoin and the town at the same time.

He said that means the town will be able to move into 85 Union St. sooner, which could save the town up to $15,000 in the project budget.

The coordinated work would displace town boards and committees from the Brunswick Station Council Chamber from mid-December to late-January. They would have to find other town or school facilities with the capability to televise meetings.

Brown said staff will try to come back with proposed alternative locations for meeting spaces by January, because few meetings typically are scheduled in December.

The existing Town Hall is expected to be conveyed to Brunswick Development Corp. by April 2014.

BDC is expected to sell that property, along with the soon-to-be former Recreation Center at 30 Federal St., to Wiscasset-based Coastal Enterprises for $300,000.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.