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Addison officials vote to mix old, new for twp. hall



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June 25, 2014 - When it came time to decide at the June 23 special meeting whether to renovate the existing township hall or build a brand new one, the Addison Township Board voted 6-0 in favor of a concept plan that does both.

Partners in Architect, the firm hired for the job, proposed a concept plan at the June 16 meeting, which blended saving some of the existing building (the board meeting room and the old library building) then building a new addition for the rest of the hall.

The library was proposed to be the new space for Addison's Oakland County Sheriff's substation. The firm estimated the cost to be $1.7 million for an 11,100 square-foot building. If they shrink the plan to the RFP specs of 10,200 square feet, the cost comes down to an estimated $1.6 million.

Partners recommended going with the "blend concept."

"I would choose the redevelopment of this space (the current meeting room) and the library and a new major edition. From a couple different standpoints, you get 11,000 square-feet for less money (and) that's about 9 percent more building," said David Gassen, principal in charge and project manager for Partners. "You're meeting one of your master plan objectives, which (is) less impact on the economic or environmental area. You're trying bridge the interests of many different people . . . I think there is some value in that, in my opinion. You have something here that, I think, has value to it and I think we can capitalize on it."

Trustee Linda Gierak liked the idea of combining existing building with new construction.

"I thought that made sense to me," she said.

Following the board's approval for Partners in Architect, Gassen said he was glad he went to the meeting.

"I am so thankful for your expression of confidence," he told the board. "We will do a good job for you."

The board voted 6-0 in a separate motion for the project cost to not exceed $2.4 million.

Of that amount, $1 million will be taken from the township's fund blance, which is currently $1.77 million as of March 31.

The remaining $1.4 million will come from a 15-year loan. With interest rates currently hovering between 2.5 to 3.25 percent, the township's annual payment is expected to be approximately $81,000 to $85,000.

Pearson was pleased by how the board handled the process.

"The good thing is we didn't go into this haphazardly. We brought professionals in and we listened. Those guys have an awful lot of education behind them. They do this for living, so we didn't just shoot from the hip," Pearson said. "We also got their opinions of the (existing building's) condition and most said this is very bad, which we kind of knew that. Putting a lot of money into this (existing building . . . is a foolish thing if it's not going to help us."

Like the rest of the board, Pearson agreed saving parts of the building and getting rid of the parts that aren't salvageable is a "good concept."

"There just comes a time when something has to be done and I think this (concept) is the best of both worlds," he said.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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