Department of Public Works (DPW) Facility History
The DPW Facility Debt Exclusion was approved by the residents on June 5, 2007. The cost of the facility is projected to be $27,500,000, which is $3 million less than the original proposal. Groundbreaking on the new facility occurred in November of 2007.
Town Meeting first recognized this undertaking as necessary decades ago. Below are links to some of the information prepared as this process was moving forward.
In the 1800s, the Town of Lexington used the site at 201 Bedford Street as a trolley barn. In the 1930s, the site was then converted into a public works facility. Thirty years later in the 1960s, the community planned to replace the DPW Operations building with a newer, modern facility. However, instead of constructing an entirely new building, the facility was upgraded in 1966 with the addition of administration and personnel areas and maintenance garage bays. It has not been upgraded since. Furthermore, not all of the vehicle storage areas were part of the 1966 upgrade and in fact, are believed to date to the original construction.
In the late 1980s, the Town of Lexington revived the capital budget process and requested money for the replacement of the DPW Operations facility, as it has every year since. In 2000, the Space/Building Needs Assessment Advisory Committee filed a report which stated that a new DPW facility was the committee's number one priority. The committee reported that a new DPW needed training space, meeting room space for more than fifty people, a small meeting area for 15-18 people, storage for charts and maps, equipment storage, an up-to-date mechanic shop, and better ventilation. After that report was filed, two more committees, the DPW Facility Site Working Group and DPW/Senior Center Re-Evaluation Advisory Committee researched site possibilities for the new facility, including keeping it at 201 Bedford Street or moving it to the Hartwell Avenue Compost Facility located at 60 Hartwell Avenue. Both committees concluded that the facility should move to Hartwell Avenue.
However, on February 15, 2005, the Board of Selectmen voted to keep the DPW Operations Facility at 201 Bedford Street. The Board's reasons for keeping the DPW on Bedford Street include its central location for customer service and response, possible environmental issues should the site be used for a different purpose, the additional operational costs of moving the facility to the edge of town, and the cost of developing Hartwell Avenue. The 2005 Town Meeting then approved a $720,000 request from the Town to design a new DPW Facility.
In 2005, the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for architecture and engineering firms interested in designing and building the Town's facility. After a lengthy review of proposals and presentations, the PBC chose the architectural firm HKT Architects, Inc. to create the facility.