Listening session on Bow Community Building to be held Wednesday night

Instructor Kristina Lucas and students stretch as they begin their Gentle Yoga class at the Bow Community Center on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Instructor Kristina Lucas and students stretch as they begin their Gentle Yoga class at the Bow Community Center on Monday, June 4, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER


Monitor staff

Published: 11-13-2023 4:22 PM

The town of Bow is holding its first listening session on the community building project this week, inviting residents to participate in shaping the future of the building, which could cost as much as $13.4 million.

Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on two options -- constructing a new building or renovating the existing one. The session will be held Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Bow Community Building, 3 Bow Center Road. 

“Everything this far is still preliminary and conceptual,” said Danielle Albushies, a member of the committee overseeing the transformation of the center, which has presented plans to the select board and capital improvements committee.“We want to now bring it to the townspeople so that they know and are aware.” 

Back in August, during a select board meeting, the committee presented three proposals of varying cost and scope to transform the center.

The first was to construct a new structure on the opposite side of the street, providing an expansive 31,158 square feet for a multi-generational community center, designed to meet diverse demands, from pickleball to basketball. The estimated cost for this new building is $13.4 million.

Alternatively, the committee presented two options for modernizing the current community center. The more budget-friendly choice involves addressing essential repairs at an anticipated cost of $3.76 million. While cost-effective, it lacks the flexibility offered by a new or renovated facility.

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The other option is a comprehensive renovation, adding 7,865 square feet for expanded gym facilities, upgraded bathrooms, versatile multipurpose spaces, and modernized air conditioning systems, at a projected cost of $6.5 million.

Both renovation options, however, come with a drawback – the town will be without a community center for 12 to 18 months, depending on the extent of the work.

The town allocated $35,000 to hire the engineering firm H.L. Turner Group at this year’s town meeting to provide conceptual building and site plans, along with developing cost estimates for construction.

The center is in need of repairs, creating an urgency to make decisions since the Fire Marshal issued a mandate to bring the current Community Building up to code or devise a viable plan by 2025.