The Municipal Building Project
What is this "Project"?
The aim of the Municipal Building Project is to update the facilities for the Islesboro Health Center (IHC) and Public Safety, which includes Policing, Emergency Medical Services, and the Fire Department. The overall plan includes the following:
- Build a new Health Center building to provide adequate and safe space for the Health Center and the community it serves. Video discussion with Dorie Henning
- Renovate the space vacated by the Health Center to provide better reception, office, and training space for the three departments in Public Safety. Discussion with Fred Porter and Murt Durkee
- Build a Public Safety Garage north of the Narrows to accommodate a fire engine and an ambulance.
Why Consider a New Health Center Building?
There are many needs on Islesboro, such as housing for our residents and workers, repair of our iconic lighthouse, preparing for sea level rise, and addressing ferry issues. All of these are important and, luckily, there are committees working on each one of them. Another significant concern is the serious overcrowding in our Municipal Building.
At the core of this overcrowding is the Islesboro Health Center, which serves many more patients than when the building was renovated in 1991. The ingenious IHC staff has utilized every nook and cranny to confer with patients and to store supplies, drugs, medical equipment, etc., but for a long time, lack of space has been an everyday problem. Here are examples:
- What used to be the patient waiting room must now be used as a staff office.
- The staff "break area" houses a multi-use refrigerator and is inches from the medical lab/blood draw area (delineated by red tape).
- The trauma room is the only available storage area for oxygen tanks, sterilizing equipment and more.
- The Municipal Building is a remodeled grocery store that was never properly ventilated, insulated, or soundproofed to assure privacy.
- Video tour of the Health Center
- History of the Town Municipal Building
Have We Considered Other Options?
Why don't we move Public Safety, which includes Policing, Emergency Medical Services and Fire, out of the building to give the IHC more room? Or why not add rooms at the back of the Municipal Building? With the help of town staff and island residents with building knowledge, the Select Board and Town Manager Janet Anderson have reviewed these options in detail and have concluded that given the age and layout of the building, any remodel would not adequately address issues that current building codes require in medical facilities, such as privacy and ventilation. Furthermore, remodeling the space for the IHC would be extensive and necessitate shutting down the IHC for many months. For more information on the background on this project and the Municipal Building Project Committee charged by the Select Board with guiding the construction process, please see the MBP Overview, pages 1-3.
What Are the Plans For This Project and What Will the Construction Cost?
The architectural firm for the project, Stephen Blatt Associates of Portland (www.sbarchitects.com), has prepared plans and cost estimates for the new Health Center building, the renovation of the space vacated by the Health Center for use by Public Safety, and the up-island Public Safety Garage. The projected cost for the entire Municipal Building Project is $3,500,000. For a summary of the plans, architectural renderings, and a breakdown of the costs, please see the Overview, pages 4-10. Renderings of the building designs will be available when the design refinements have been completed.
How Will the Project Be Funded?
Half the $3,500,000 cost, $1,750,000, will be financed through a public bond approved by the Islesboro voters on September 22, 2022. The balance, $1,750,000, will come from private contributions.
What is the Status of the Fundraising?
The campaign to raise $1,750,000 in private funds began in September 2022 and met the goal in April of 2023. To date, the Municipal Building Project’s Campaign Committee has raised $1,759,905. There are 208 donors; gifts range in size from $25 to $300,000.
The committee will no longer initiate new solicitations. However, it will continue to work with several prospective donors who have received requests and preferred to consider them in 2023. New contributions will be welcome, for despite every cost-saving effort, given the present volatility of the cost of construction materials, the final cost of the Municipal Building Project may exceed the original $3,500,000 estimated budget.
If you wish to contribute to the Municipal Building Project, please complete this letter of intent and mail it with a check payable to the Town of Islesboro to 150 Main Road, Islesboro, ME 04848. Stock transfers may be arranged through the Town Office. The Town of Islesboro is a tax-exempt organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the federal tax code.
What is the Project Timeline?
Construction of the Health Center Building and the Up-island Public Safety Garage is due to begin in the fall of 2023 and be completed in June 2024. The expanded space for Public Safety will be renovated in 2025.
Town's Share of MBP Proposal
How Can We Keep Tabs on This Project?
Please look for updates as we move forward via meetings, mailings, Zoom presentations, and this website.
And thank you for your interest in and support for this vital work.
Islesboro Island News Articles
Municipal Building Project Committee
Dorie Henning, FNP