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Dedham department heads to tour potential combined municipal campus site

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  March 29, 2013 01:19 PM

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Selectmen have seen the 100-150 Rustcraft Road facility. Now it is the department heads’ turn.

Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, an architectural firm retained by the building’s new owner, the Davis Companies, met with the police chief, council on aging director, and other department heads to discuss possibilities on Tuesday. Next week, the architects will take them through the building.

Selectmen Carmen Dello Iacono and Michael Butler proposed pursuing a combined municipal facility on the site, which could include the town hall, police station, senior center, department of public works headquarters, and other uses, at a meeting on March 14.

All selectmen have since toured the facility.

“I like going to the department heads; this is a unique opportunity to allow them to think about what they might need,” selectman Sarah MacDonald said at a meeting on Thursday.

Town officials had previously been pursuing a police station site on High Street across from the St. Mary of the Assumption Church. Options for a senior center, particularly at the Endicott Estate on East Street, had been discussed, as well.

Dello Iacono said it was important for that work to continue at the same time that the Rustcraft facility is being pursued, because it may not work out.

Following the tours, Spagnolo Gisness & Associates will provide two layout options for the town to review and comment by April 30, and the preferred option will determined two weeks later, according to Dello Iacono.

While the analysis of the facility itself moves forward, town officials will investigate space needs for town buildings and look into what could be done with the current town hall, police station, and public works facility if those departments moved to Rustcraft, Butler said.

Public information sessions will be held related to all information in June, but selectman James MacDonald also asked for updates at each selectmen meeting before that time.

“There will always be something to report and it’s important as we keep this moving to keep the public informed,” he said.

Town Administrator William Keegan, who has been out sick since March 14, attended Thursday’s meeting via telecommuting. He said he looked forward to returning soon and diving into the project.

The Davis Companies acquired the Rustcraft Building, which also contains the Red Cross headquarters, for $21 million in February.

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