WINTER HARBOR — Architects have a final estimate on the cost of a proposed town and public safety building — $1.69 million.
The project now will be out to bid before being presented to voters at a yet-to-be-scheduled special town meeting, Town Manager Cathy Carruthers said.
Voters last summer approved spending $1 million on the building, which would be located on the site of the former Winter Harbor elementary school.
The building would house the police and fire departments and the town office.
The architect, Kay Stevens-Rosa of A4 Architects in Bar Harbor, said at a workshop prior to the selectmen’s meeting Dec. 5 that the bids could come in lower than the estimate.
“We have definitely seen more competitive bidding on contracts such as this,” she said. “Labor in this market is 70 percent of the cost.”
Stevens-Rosa said retrofitting and including a remaining wing of the former school — which has been a bone of contention in discussions — would cost more money than it would save.
“If the existing building were to be reused, it is likely that virtually every stick of it would require replacement,” it was stated in the architect’s plan.
Stevens-Rosa added, “I really would be remiss to recommend something like that.”