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East Hampton plans to create $8.5M campus for town offices

A view of the old East Hampton Town

A view of the old East Hampton Town Hall, a one-story brick building, on July 17, 2012. Credit: John Roca

An architect’s rendering of a completed municipal campus for East Hampton Town is expected to be presented soon to the committee charged with making plans for the project.

The old brick Town Hall building was closed about 10 years ago, and some town offices were moved into a complex of barns on the Pantigo Road campus while others such as those for the building department and tax receiver were relocated to nearby 300 Pantigo Place. But the original Town Hall has since sat vacant and deteriorating while town officials decided what to do with the structure.

At the town board’s Sept. 20 work session, representatives of L.K. McLean Associates, a Brookhaven-based engineering, architecture, survey and planning firm, presented a plan that included razing the old Town Hall — which was built in the 1960s — and constructing three interconnected timber frame barn-style structures. They would match the barns that house administrative offices and the board’s meeting room.

Also part of the plan are improvements that would allow pedestrian and vehicle traffic to flow more easily.

Joe Catropa, an architect at L.K. McLean Associates who presented the plans to the board in September, estimated the project’s cost at $8.5 million, and said the new buildings will provide about 12,000 square feet of functional space, similar to the size of existing office space at 300 Pantigo Place.

“The town board gave the architect the go-ahead to pursue their set of plans,” said Alex Walter, executive assistant to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. “We’re hoping to have a computer rendering of what it would look like, then we’ll get the committee back together and take a look and see if it’s an acceptable plan, then estimate the cost and go back to the board with that.”

Walter, who sits on the committee envisioning the project, said he expected the design to be very preliminary.

“There won’t be floor plans yet, but at least it will give us more . . . some dimension to it,” he said. “I’m interested to see what the idea looks like.”

Peter Gumpel, an architect who sits on the planning committee and who called the layout and appearance of the current municipal office property “embarrassing,” said everything needs to be brought together in an attractive and logical way.

“The complex that’s there now is a hodgepodge of buildings and parking and abandoned buildings,” Gumpel said. “The goal is to create a real municipal campus.”

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