By ROXANN MILLER
11:38 PM EST, December 11, 2012
The Antrim Township (Pa.) Supervisors are moving forward with plans to upgrade the township’s 34-year-old municipal building.
Township Supervisors Pat Heraty and John Alleman, who sit on the building project committee, said upgrades to the building are preliminary, but are under way.
The board has budgeted $800,000 in the township’s 2013 budget for renovations to the building.
“No square footage will be added. We’re reconfiguring so the space is a little bit more usable,” Heraty said.
The township paid about $13,500 to Centura Associates of Chambersburg, Pa., to design a layout of the municipal building.
Included in the design is additional office space, new handicap-accessible bathrooms, revision of the space formerly used by the district justice and modernization throughout the building.
Alleman said they want to better utilize the space that the district justice formerly occupied. It’s now being used as storage space
Alleman said the township wants to electronically transfer its files and is trying to define space in the renovation project to accommodate that need.
Township resident Kathryn Freese didn’t understand why renovations were being done to an old building when the township has land to build a new building on Molly Pitcher Highway.
“When this building was constructed they were still using asbestos, have you thought about that?” she said.
Alleman told her that both he and the architects feel the amount of asbestos in the township building is minimal based on work conducted on the building in the past.
“Spending nearly $1 million on renovating this old building ... is a very poor use of money,” she said.
In 2005, township supervisors — none of whom are still serving on the board of supervisors — voted to spend $1 million for land on South Antrim Way to build a municipal government center.
According to Young on Tuesday, the bid to construct a new building on the land on South Antrim Way was about $6.7 million in 2007 (not including the $700,000 spent on architect’s fees).
At that time, there was a community outcry about spending $7 on a municipal building.
“I was not in favor of building a new facility and as along as I’m on this board I will not spend $7 million on a new facility,” Young said.
There are currently 10 township employees who work in the township building.
“This intersection is getting more and more dangerous,” Freese said about the current location.
Well, the senior center is next door, Young said.
“This building is moving in a direction to do a building renovation,” Young said.
“I support what you are doing,” Robert Smith, resident, said. “Renovate this place - make it work. As for the intersection, I don’t like it either, but you just have to deal with it.”
Bids for renovations on the township building are expected to go out in February with work to begin early Spring 2013, Alleman said.
During renovations, township employees will work in some type of modular trailers, Heraty said.
In other action, the township’s $3 million budget for 2013, which includes no real estate tax increase, will be approved at a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in Antrim Township’s municipal building on Antrim Church Road.
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