GILFORD — The Legislature has appropriated $9,379,313 in the biennial capital budget for the reconstruction of the New Hampshire Marine Patrol headquarters at Glendale.
Several years ago the Department of Safety commissioned an engineering firm to assess the structural integrity of the building as well as the condition of its mechanical and electrical systems. Finding the building beyond repair, the report proposed construction of a new 36,163-square-foot building at an estimated cost of $11 million.
When the Legislature diverted the balance of the Navigation Safety Fund to the General Fund to balance the budget In 2010, the Department of Safety deferred action on the report. This year, the Public Works Bureau of the Department of Administrative Services reviewed the report recommended instead a 31,994-square-foot facility built on on a pile foundation with an estimated cost of $9.4 million, which includes items required by code worth $255,000 and required by law worth $231,000.
Earl Sweeney, assistant commissioner of Safety, said yesterday that the building would be constructed to this design and built on the site of the existing building, near the docks on Lake Winnipesaukee, which would likely be demolished and reconstructed in phases, sparing Marine Patrol from having to relocate during construction. The capital budget included a $1-million appropriation for the acquisition of private property around the facility, which Sweeney said would both facilitate the construction of the new building and the operations of the agency. The additional land, he said, was not required for the project, but "it's pretty tight quarters up there."
The project will be funded by the sale of bonds, with principal and interest payments made from the Navigation Safety Fund, consisting of the proceeds from boat registration fees. With much of the design and engineering work complete, Sweeney anticipated the work would be put out to bid relatively quickly. He said that with having to work around the boating season, which he remarked "now runs from ice-out till ice-in," he estimated that construction could take 18-months.
Captain Tim Dunleavy of Marine Patrol said that the existing building was originally built to store boats through the winter in the late 1950s and subsequently converted to house the agency. He said that as the uses of the building have expanded and changed, its deficiencies have been exacerbated.
The assessment of the building found that '''the building is experiencing settlement in several different directions." The main floor began subsiding after a drain was rerouted in 1990 and the soils settled, undermining the slab. An addition on the north side of the building continues to settle while sheet piles were driven in the 1980s to arrest settlement on the northwest side of the building. Settlement of the footings has caused the wood-framed addition on the second floor to slope toward the lake, hindering use of the office space.
The roofs fall short of snow-load requirements. The building is not accessible to the handicapped and is not sufficiently structurally sound to accommodate an elevator. "The structural and accessibility issues of this existing building cannot be easily or economically addressed. Three different systems, burning two different fuels, heat the building. All are inefficient and have no control control system. The building is without mechanical ventilation. Although meeting current needs, the electrical system cannot support an expansion.