Price tag for new Bow public safety facility at $7.7 million
Plans for a new public safety facility in Bow edged forward last night as officials and residents met to comb over specifics of the project, including some minor aesthetic alterations and a $1.82 million cost increase from last year.
Officials said the updated $7.7 million price tag – estimates last March put it at $5.88 million, plus a 10 percent contingency cost – was due to a more detailed cost analysis, the actual incorporation of the contingency cost and a minor geo-positioning change to better situate the facility at the intersection of Knox and Logging Hill roads. The community will vote on whether to approve the project, which is slated to be the first phase of a three-step plan to berth a town center, at its annual town meeting in March.
The two-storied, 30,000-square-foot facility would replace Bow’s existing police and fire department buildings, which officials say are dangerously past their prime. The fire department would operate primarily on the building’s ground floor, while the police would mostly be housed on the upper level, with some meeting, storage and training rooms being shared on each floor and in a basement.
One of the centerpieces of the building is a state-of-the-art geothermal power system that cycles water through pipes deep underground to cool and heat the interior during winter and summer months. Bob Eldredge, a local sustainability expert and member of the project’s planning committee, said the system, in conjunction with the use of solar panels and other green technology, could cut annual energy costs in half of what they would be if powered with traditional gas and electric systems.
Eric Anderson, who heads the planning commission, said those savings will be invaluable in the future.
“When you look at the cost this community is now paying for its utilities – for heat, oil, water, electric and propane – it’s just staggering,” he said. “What we hope is that by investing in the present, we can reduce the cost of our energy in the long-term.”
If the project gets a green light this spring, construction could begin as early as this fall and the facility could be completed as early as fall 2014, the committee said.
(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319 or