Input sought on Building No. 2

NEW IPSWICH — The debate is on, once again, about what to do with the former police station, known in town as Building No. 2.

Tonight, the Select Board will hold a public meeting to seek input from residents about the future of Building No. 2, which was vacated in 2008 after it was discovered to have a black mold infestation. The town has spent more than $100,000 on mold remediation and upgrades to the heating and cooling systems in the building in the past few years.

In 2011, the town voted to spend $70,000 for remediation of the mold. Even after remediation, though, mold persisted in the building. In 2012, voters reduced a $130,000 warrant article for further remediation in Building No. 2 to $0. Voters also turned down a petition warrant article in March asking for funds to demolish the building. “The demolition idea didn’t work, and remediation was shot down,” said Select Board Chair George Lawrence in a phone interview Monday. “This has been going on for a long time, and there has to be a culmination. I think that everything is at a standstill until we have some input.”

Lawrence said the board had no firm ideas for what they would like done with the building, but has requested that town department heads, as well as the general public, put some thought into what they would like to see done with the building. “Basically, we’re starting from scratch all over again,” he said.

The board has considered having an engineering company come in to do an appraisal of the building and give the board an idea of feasible uses. But that would require funds, which would have to be approved by voters in March.

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