West Tisbury building projects on schedule for winter openings

The West Tisbury library expansion is on track, town leaders said. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

West Tisbury leaders said the town’s new police station and the renovated library, a total of almost $9 million in municipal building projects, are on schedule to open late this winter.

The new West Tisbury police station is scheduled for a February or March opening, according to police building committee chairman Norman Perry. “It is going great,” he said. “There was a three-week manufacturing delay on the windows but the builder was able to work around it. We have a good builder who knows what he is doing.” The builder is Builders Systems, Inc. of Sandwich.

“The inside looks like a spaghetti factory with wires everywhere,” Mr. Perry said, “overall we are about 62 percent complete. We are on schedule and on budget.” He said that as a former IBM executive he has a lot of experience managing projects, and he thinks this one is going well. “I visit the site almost every day. The outside is almost complete and the first layer of asphalt is down around the outside of the building.”

The new 5,634-square-foot police station will be connected to the public safety building on State Road in North Tisbury. It will replace the current much smaller building next to the Mill Pond on the Edgartown Road, the department’s headquarters since the mid-1970s.

The cost of the project is $2,495,000.

There will be a lobby, offices, and a bathroom on the first floor, and a conference room, a bunk-room, a break room, a lavatory, and office space for animal control and emergency services personnel on the second floor. The basement will have two locker rooms, evidence and armory rooms, and storage areas.

There have been few delays other than the windows, according to Mr. Perry. Soon after excavating, the site builders realized the high sand content of the soil required a more expensive method to protect the integrity of the public safety building during construction.

A decision was made to move the new police building almost ten feet farther back and to the side with a correspondingly longer hallway between the new and older buildings. This required moving the septic system as well.

The move cost an additional $7,000. Mr. Perry said that cost has been made up by savings in other areas. Builders Systems was able to stay on schedule because of trouble days built into the calendar, according to a company spokesman.

Library is on track

The West Tisbury library will reopen in its totally renovated building at the end of February or the first of March. Library director Beth Kramer said the project is on schedule.

“It’s amazing how quickly things are progressing now,” she said. “It looks great. The painters are finishing the interior painting. The landscape committee is meeting on the outside details. The ceilings are in. The floors will be in in the next couple of weeks. Everything is really coming together beautifully.”

She expects the furniture and shelving to be delivered to the Island at the end of January. “In February we will be moving the books back in,” she said.

The library renovation will cost more than $6 million when complete. The project qualified for state matching funds of $2.93 million after the West Tisbury library foundation raised $1.7 million from private donors and the town approved $1.5 million for the project at town meeting in April, 2011, by a nearly unanimous vote.

The old library, built in 1993, was 5,640 square feet. The new structure measures about 13,000 square feet. The new design includes a new study room for young adults, a room for programs, lectures and films, a director’s office, staff work space, meeting space, and restrooms.

The library project included stripping and gutting the existing 1993 building. The reading room of the old library in the rear was removed making room for a two-story addition.

The old library had the second smallest building of the Island libraries, Ms. Kramer said, yet it had the largest circulation “The new building will allow us the space for all the programing our community wants. It will be a beautiful community space. We can’t wait to move into our new home.”