Published in the April 20, 2017 edition


NORTH READING — The Athletic Facilities Committee (AFC) voted unanimously recently to seek plans and bids for the Arthur Kenney Field restroom project, AFC Chairman Mel Webster told the School Committee last week.

Webster said the AFC will be receiving bids for three different options before June Town Meeting. He said the options include a bid for constructing just a restroom facility; a bid for a restroom building with an alternative addition that would allow a pad and utilities connections to be built for a future concession stand; and a bid for a restroom building with an alternative addition for an attached concessions stand.

The AFC chairman said receiving the three different bids and plans “commits us to nothing.” He said engineering firm CBI can review all three proposals with the $50,000 townspeople voted to allocate for the project at the Special Town Meeting in March.

“It’s going to be a race to the wire, but we are going to have to make a recommendation to the Selectmen for what we want to move forward with before June Town Meeting,” said Webster.

Webster said the town is working on the project with State Representative Brad Jones (R-North Reading) and the State Board of Examiners of Plumbers and Gasfitters. He said the town has requested the board to reduce the number of restroom fixtures, with the goal of reducing the project’s price tag.

“At this point, the town is seeking to reduce the total number of restroom fixtures at the Kenney Field project to 10,” said Webster in an email sent to the Transcript. “That would be five stalls in the women’s room, and two stalls and three urinals in the men’s room. We have been given an indication that this will be acceptable to the state plumbing board, but will not get an official response until the end of this month.”

In an email sent to the Transcript, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto said the State Board of Examiners of Plumbers and Gasfitters originally stipulated the town had to build 26 restroom fixtures in the bathroom facility. He said the board approved the town’s request to reduce the number of fixtures to 13 in February 2015.

“We’ve applied to reduce the 13 to 10, and the variance application is scheduled to be heard on April 26,” said Gilleberto. “We’ve requested that the variance be voted on that day.”

Webster agreed.

“We requested and were able to get (the 26 fixtures) reduced to 13, eight in the women’s room and five in the men’s room,” said Webster. “We now have requested a reduction to 10.”

Gilleberto said the project will be advertised beginning on Thursday, April 20. Proposals are due Thursday, May 4.

“The architect will present the proposals to the Athletic Facilities Committee on May 5,” said Gilleberto.

Gilleberto thanked Jones for his assistance with the bathroom project.

“Rep. Jones has been extremely helpful facilitating this process,” said Gilleberto.