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. 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 Projects Committee charged with guiding this process, please review the MBP Overview.
What Is The Plan For This Project And When Will We Know What It Will Cost?
In the summer of 2021 the Select Board appointed a Municipal Building Project Committee and charged it with obtaining a preliminary design and cost estimate. The Select Board has chosen Stephen Blatt Architects of Portland to prepare a schematic design for the new Health Center building and a plan for the Municipal Building renovation; they will do a review of existing plans for the Public Safety Garage. The firm expects to have designs and cost estimates in June 2022.
What Is The Project Timeline?
Here is the current timeline. The timeline is always a draft and will change over time.
How Can We Keep Tabs On This Project?
Please look for updates as we move forward via Constant Contact, FB, IIN articles, and this website. You can also invite a MBP committee member to visit your organization and get the latest information. Contact: laurenkbruce@ gmail.com
And thank you for your interest in and support for this vital work.
Municipal Building Project Committee
Dorie Henning, FNP