Medford Council receives update on new municipal and library building during latest meeting

Brooks Garrison of Garrison Architects gave a presentation on the new Municipal Building and Library off Union St.

During the latest Medford Council meeting, Brooks Garrison of Garrison Architects gave a presentation on the new municipal building and library off Union Street.

The group is planning to complete the building’s contract documents at the end of August. After Aug. 30, it will then be available for bids until Oct. 10. 

The bidding process will last approximately five weeks. Within that time, Garrison will hold a pre-bid meeting on-site, with questions and answers from contractors. 

Garrison is hoping to have the bid approved at the council’s Oct. 15 meeting. He also expects the building to officially open in March 2020. 

“This is very exciting to see,” said Councilmember Lauren Kochan. 

The building is symmetrically designed with the main entrance as its focal point. They used the vernacular and esthetic of the existing historic Jonathan Haines Home on the property, according to Garrison, replicating the side elevation of the dual chimney to indicate the main entrance and front door. 

“It’s an important architectural feature and we thought it would be appropriate right in the dead-center,” said Garrison. 

The building has a low, sloping roof that slopes from the front to the back to maintain the “architectural vernacular of the shingled roof look” that is seen in the neighborhood, according to Garrison. 

However, Garrison explained the roof is really just a facade. It actually has a one-way slope that slopes about two and a half feet from the front to the back of the building. This design allows it to essentially hide the mechanical units that are built on the roof. 

In other news:

  • An ordinance approving the application and authorizing the execution of the financial agreement for a long-term tax exemption with VOADV Property, Inc. for the Hartford Village Age Restricted Affordable Housing Development was approved on first reading. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting.
  • The council announced the scheduling of a special meeting on Aug. 20 to conduct interviews for the green team applicants at the Public Safety Building. The New Jersey Sustainable Energy Program, which the Environmental Affairs Advisory Committee has been a part of since 2015, stated that towns should develop a “green team” in addition to the EAAC. In recent weeks, the council passed a resolution to establish a “green team advisory committee” and has asked residents to apply. 
  • Jordan Patricia was approved as a new volunteer Emergency Medical Services Jr. member for EMS Station 258.
    “Thank you for volunteering to serve our community,” said Mayor Charles Watson.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building.