Architects show public preliminary design for new Canton Municipal Building
Bryan Cowell from BCA Architects and Engineers, Watertown, displays a rendering of what a new Canton Municipal Building would look like during a joint meeting of the Canton town and village boards on Thursday night. NCNow Photo by Paul MItchell.
BY PAUL MITCHELL
North Country This Week
CANTON– The public got its first look at a very preliminary design for a new Canton Municipal Building at a joint town and village board meeting on Thursday night.
Bryan Cowell and Ariel Snyder from BCA Architects and Engineers delivered a presentation to both boards and a handful of community residents.
Blueprints for the new building featured a two-story structure that would increase the square footage from 13,000 square feet at the current building to 35,000 square feet. The price tag would be $25,710,300 and would incorporate the soon-to-be-village-owned McDonald’s property, 64 Main Street.
The breakdown is $17,550,000 for the new building, $1 million for demolition, $927,500 for inflation, $1,947,750 for contingency, and $4,285,050 for incidental expenses.
“We’ve been working on this for 9 to 10 months. The police department and town court are undersized,” said Cowell. “The current building will be put on the McDonald’s site.”
The first floor will have separate town and village offices, the court system and the police department with secured areas. The second floor will house the historian's office, assessor’s office, the economic development office, and separate town and village code enforcement offices.
The bulk of the project will focus on the court area to be located in the rear of the building and will have secure passages and courtroom with a 160-person occupancy. Many specifications for a new court area are mandated by the state.
The proposal will see a parking lot at the site of the current building and the new municipal building constructed to the east.
Concerns were raised about having the parking lot off Miner Street, citing already traffic congestion at that intersection.
“It’s a sick building in many ways. It’s tough but at least we have a plan. We have to work with what we have,” said Mayor Michael Dalton. “We will be looking at what’s available in terms of funding. We have a long way to go.”
Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley said it’s been the consensus of the public to keep the municipal building downtown.
“So that’s what we went with,” said Ashley, noting discussion of the municipal building issue started in 2019.
The existing building is cramped with potential health-related issues.
“People who work in the building are worth a lot more than that,” she stated. “Board members need to think about the cost but we need to get there.”
Dalton said the next step is to begin exploring funding options.
The new building would be fully handicapped accessible.
A Main Street Perspective of a new Canton Municipal Building