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Sep 20, 2016 5:42 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Looking At $8.5 Mil New Town Hall 'Campus'

Alex Walter, Supervisor Larry Cantwell's executive assistant in front of the East Hampton Town Hall. MICHAEL WRIGHT
Sep 20, 2016 5:42 PM

The East Hampton Town Board got its first look this week at an $8.5 million proposal for a new building on the Town Hall campus that would consolidate most town offices onto one property.

The 17,000-square-foot barn design would replace the now-vacant former Town Hall building, adjacent to the current administrative complex, which houses only the town’s executive offices.

By constructing the new building, the town would be able to move its building, tax receiving, assessors, planning and housing departments back to the Town Hall campus. The town clerk’s office would also move from the executive offices building to the new structure, to shorten the walk from the parking lot for visitors.

Despite some initial sticker shock at the price—the town had initially set a goal of about $5.5 million for the building’s cost—board members were largely supportive of the project and asked that the exploration committee start working on more specific design specifications to present to the town’s design firm, McClean Associates.

The rough sketches presented by the committee of town officials and architects show a concept of three barn-like buildings connected by glass atriums, similar to the design used to link the 18th century barns to form the current Town Hall building.

Architect Peter Gumpel, who served on the committee, said the interior of the building would rely on a open plan that would allow some departments to have combined public information areas and make for easy changes in arrangement of offices as some departments need more or less space in the future.

“We need to create a municipal campus,” Mr. Gumpel said of the plans for the new building. “And we need to consolidate departments so there is more significant interaction between departments.”

Most town departments are currently housed in offices the town purchased in the 1990s at 300 Pantigo Road, next door to the Town Hall complex. The town pays $90,000 a year in maintenance for the condominiums, an annual cost that would be reduced with the new buildings.

The town would sell the condos once the new town building was completed, which Supervisor Larry Cantwell said have been estimated to be worth between $3 million and $4 million. Additionally, the supervisor noted on Tuesday, the town could sell the land which the former Scavenger waste processing site occupied. He estimated that the sale of the two properties would approximately cover the cost of the new building.

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A lot of moving pieces here. $500/sqft dream building will cost more. Past performance of Town Building Construction projects is dismal. Condos failed to even to get a minimum bid of $3 million in 2012. Old water treatment plant is not high value.

Time to sell Bluff Road. Monetize all extraneousTown properties...build the new Town Complex, but also fund unfunded liabilities and pay down Town debt from McGintee fiasco!
By Amagansett Voter (62), Amagansett on Sep 21, 16 8:43 AM
I thought the purpose of moving the de Menil buildings were to get all the departments in one place?
By Rich Morey (378), East Hampton on Sep 21, 16 10:35 AM
Amagansett Voter is onto something. Former administration, when putting the campus idea out there, put strong feelers out for Pantigo sale and response wasnt there.Although thte former administration secured the $550k for planning efforts, i would hold off if you are basing your construction finance on Pantigo sale at those prices. Old water treatment's value is diminished because of the activity that took place there. A lot of testing of that ground will be required before a sale is secured.
Bluff ...more
By pluff (60), East Hampton on Sep 21, 16 12:06 PM
You could pay that $90,000 maintenance cost for 94 years and still not hit $8,500,000. Upgrade the buildings and be done with it. This isn't the time to enrich those in charge by fleecing the taxpayer.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 21, 16 1:17 PM