Gov. Phil Scott, Officials Break Ground at New Vermont Agricultural Environmental Lab

On Monday, January 29, Governor Phil Scott joined Vermont officials to help break ground at the new Vermont Agricultural Environmental Laboratory located on the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph. Commissioner Christopher Cole of Buildings and General Services, Secretary Anson Tebbetts of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food, & Markets and Deputy Secretary Peter Walke of the Agency of Natural Resources were honored to welcome a new facility essential to mainitaining the quality of life in Vermont.

On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene destroyed the Waterbury State Office Complex. Since that time, the Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (AAFM) and the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) laboratory operations have been scattered among several temporary locations. Act 51 of 2013 required AAFM, ANR, and the Department of Buildings and General Services (BGS) to study a range of options to replace the functionality of the labs that were lost. The study recommended a combined, collaborative laboratory jointly operated by the two Agencies under a new governance model. Act 178 of 2014 charged BGS, AAFM, and ANR to propose a site location for this shared laboratory. The proposed site on the Northern end of the Vermont Technical College (VTC) campus in Randolph Center, Vermont was approved by the Joint Fiscal Committee on September 5, 2014.

Design of the facility began in late 2014. In 2015, conceptual design was approved and the schematic design and design development phases proceeded. Permit applications were submitted in 2016, including the Federal requirements for  an  Environmental  Assessment, the local Site Plan approval from the Development Review Board, as well as our Act 250 permit. Delays were incurred during the local approval and the Act 250 approval pro esses, and the Local Site Plan approval permit was appealed to the Environmental Court. All ap­ peals and delays have been overcome and we were able to proceed with the Bidding phase  of the project.

The project includes construction of a 36,486 gross square feet laboratory facility and asso­ ciated site work for the State of Vermont on the VTC Campus in Randolph Center, VT. The project consists of two floor plates of approximately 16,800 gross square feet each and an exterior rooftop mechanical unit and lab exhaust fans that are screened. There is a heated airlock at the roof to access the mechanical air handler. The main building is a steel moment frame structure with one hour fireproofing as required for all structural members. The con­ struction cost is currently $20,475,555.00.

The lot size is 13.12 acres through a ground leased from VTC. The total impervious area will be approximately 1.97 acres, including buildings, roads, walks and other improvements.

The design team headed by CannonDesign includes the following Vermont firms: Freeman French Freeman - Associate Architect, Knight Consulting Engineers -  Geotechnical Engineers, Wagner Hodgson - Landscape Architects, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin - Civil Engineers, and Krebs and Lansing Engineers - Surveyors. The General Contractor is Engelberth Construction, Inc. from Colchester, Vermont.

PROJECT MILESTONES

Project Estimate: $27,000,000 Design: 2014

Permitting: 2016

Final Design: 2017

Bid Advertisement: Fall 2017 Bids Received: Fall 2017 Construction Start: Winter 2017

Estimated Completion: Winter 2019