Pine Plains begins journey toward new town hall

PINE PLAINS —  Discussion split between the Monday, May 15, monthly workshop meeting and the Thursday, May 18, town board meeting included dialogue on the potential costs, constraints, and a host of other non-binding ideas centered around the construction of a new town hall.

On Monday, July 10, at 7 p.m. at the community center of the Pine Plains Free Library community center, 7775 S. Main St., the town board will host a public information and comment session, where it will receive ideas and feedback from the community.

Citing the Stanford Free Library as a rough equivalent in terms of the desired size and look, Councilman Don Bartles noted that building costs have risen significantly in recent years, running as high as $500 per square foot. For a building that would meet the board’s minimum needs, costs would likely surpass $3.5 million for building alone.

Proposed by Councilman Matt Zick, the session will mark the true beginning of the plans, which are now in their most preliminary stages. Before the board makes anything concrete or even contacts architects for bids, it is intent on gathering community support for what it characterizes as a big project, with Councilwoman Sarah Jones stating “Ultimately, we’re going to be asking for them to vote in favor, so it’s very important that people be on board.”

Though some factors have been discussed in detail, such as the source of heating—geothermal was floated—and the fact that the building would likely have to be carbon-neutral, Bartles indicated that the board is very open minded: “I want ideas to come to us, not necessarily us dictating ideas to them.”

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