NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen was given specifics Thursday night on a new town highway garage under consideration.

Town Manager Dennis Lajoie, right, shows the Norway Board of Selectmen photographs Thursday night of the town’s garage, and explains why it is too small for the number of employees and vehicles in the Highway Department. (Sun Journal photo by Matthew Daigle)

The proposed garage would cost about $3.2 million, or $169.31 per square foot, according to Town Manager Dennis Lajoie and Rob Prue of Pine Tree Engineering in Bath.

During the presentation, Lajoie said when he was hired to succeed David Holt, Holt told him, “There are some assets that the town needed to look at moving forward, including the highway garage, the Police Department and the Town Office building.”

“He said that there is money aside for these projects,” Lajoie said.

Lajoie said the town garage at 32 Grove St. was 70 by 100 feet when built in the 1940s. It was expanded in the 1970s, and had part of its roof repaired in 2012.

The garage has no ventilation system and a heating system that needs to be replaced.

“The garage is undersized to meet today’s needs, and the needs in the future,” Lajoie said.

Lajoie showed photographs of the garage’s interior and exterior, which he said illustrated “there is very little room to move around inside.”

Prue told selectmen the proposed garage would be 90 by 200 feet.

“It’s a good-sized building and takes up a bit of space,” Prue said. “We also determined that it’s good to use this site, rather than building a new garage at a new site. Introducing a new Public Works facility in town wouldn’t work in any neighborhood.”

The proposed garage also has the option of a wash bay, Prue said, which would allow the department to clean the undersides of its vehicles.

“If we can extend the lifespan of the vehicles by making sure they’re well-maintained, that saves the town money,” Lajoie said.

Lajoie said if approved by residents at the annual town meeting June 17, the project would be put out to bid, with construction likely to begin after the spring of 2020.

“Due to the complexity of the construction,” Lajoie said, “it probably wouldn’t finish until 2021.”

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