The Town of Pembroke's registered voters passed article 27 at town meeting held on June 22, 2021 for the purpose of designing and constructing a Community Center to replace the existing center at 128 Center Street. The voters then passed a ballot question at the election held June 26, 2021 for a Proposition 2 and 1/2 debt exclusion override to fund this project for the estimated costs at that time, $19,000,000. That figure was reduced from a March 10, 2020 presentation to the Board of Selectmen in which the 33,240 square foot project underwent a cost reset from $23,100,800 down to $18,872,000 as a result of lower bid results being seen throughout the industry in the spring of 2021 as a result of COVID impacts on the construction industry.
In the last year, the project has been under administrative intense scrutiny and has experienced significant value engineering to combine services, and reduce, modify or eliminate all possible non-programming spaces in an effort to offset rising costs of materials, fuel, labor and other inflationary issues. Long lead times for orders of components, chips, steel, aluminum, other metal components and fabricating tools and products have also driven costs higher and resulted in far larger cost per square foot bid results across the state and the country. On June 22, 2022 the town's OPM reported that project managers, architects and cost estimators were seeing current posted bid results ranging from $575-675/square foot for Senior Center and Town Hall projects, $600-750/square foot for School Construction projects and $650-760/square foot for Public Safety Buildings. The DD Estimate for the Community Center Project is $663/square foot; with constructions costs, FFE, tech and contingencies, the total project cost is expected to bid at $22,629,517 for a difference of $3,629,517 from the original appropriation in spring of 2021. The Select Board and Town Manager have continued with the bidding process to accurately define and evaluate actual costs through the bidding process and will be presenting this data for a funding appropriation at town meeting on October 18, 2022 so this project as voted can continue to completion.
The project was approved by the Planning Board for site plan approval, the Historic District Commission for demolition permit of the existing structure and construction of the new structure, is supported by the Recreation Commission and Council on Aging and the populations they serve as well as the residents who have supported the project through meetings, hearings, forums and town meeting. The Pembroke Select Board continues to discuss the project and its facets each meeting. There will be an open public forum on August 23rd at the Public Library, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm so residents can view the project plans and details and ask any questions relevant to the project or the pending request for supplemental funding to complete the project. There will be a Zoom meeting scheduled for September 7th to review the actual bids received and the gap that needs funding on October 18th at town meeting. Details of how to register and/or attend this virtual meeting will be posted here once confirmed.
To view the work of the previous committees: 2006 Community Task Force, 2012 Community Center Study Committee or the 2019 Community Center Committee, click this link.