A conceptualized design shows a new Town Office complex at the same site as the current Town Office at 6 Cascade Mill Road, with 25% more space and two stories instead of three. Rendering courtesy of Brian E. Duffy Associates

OAKLAND — Town Manager Gary Bowman hopes to go three for three. New fire and police stations came first.

Up next is, potentially, a brand new Town Office.

Located at the same site as the current location at 6 Cascade Mill Road, the conceptualized design for the new Town Office is 25% larger than the current building on two stories instead of three. The project is estimated to cost about $2 million.

“If we’re going to build a new building, we have to build it for the next 100 years,” Bowman said in an interview. “We have to design for potential growth. We have a duty to make sure that when we’re dead and gone, these buildings are there for generations to come.”

Bowman and Boyd Snowden, municipal engineer, detailed the conceptual, yet thorough, plan. The current town office is 7,500 square feet across three levels connected only by stairs. The new building design is a 10,000-square-foot, two-story building with an elevator and stairs to be in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

A town building committee of 12 administrators, department heads and citizens convened for approximately a year to create the conceptualized design. The process for getting the building approved is still in its first stages, with a final design and pricing to come. Once those are sorted, the town’s budget committee votes. If the plan is approved, the town will hold two public hearings. After the hearings the project will be brought forth to voters in November. Pending voter approval, there will be a final construction plan created with subcontractors for the various aspects of the building.

“We’re putting money in for function,” Snowden said.

Oakland contracted with architect Brian E. Duffy of Falmouth to design the new Town Office. Duffy also designed the new police and fire stations.

The new building will have dedicated Town Council chambers and a sizable recreation room. Overall, everything will be larger and town items such as critical records will be moved on-site.

Originally built as a farmhouse in the 1800s, Oakland began using the current building in 1953 after Dunn Edge Tool Co. moved its offices. The town’s population has been increasing since 1953 and is currently about 6,500. An increased population means an increased demand for services, Bowman said.

Bowman expects building costs at approximately $2 million and hopes property taxes will not increase as a part of the project. Funds from selling a 40-acre parcel of land on the western portion of Town Farm Road, currently assessed at $514,000, could help fund the project. The Oakland Police station, which cost less than $1 million, and fire station, which cost $2.8 million, came in approximately $57,000 below budget.

“We’re not building Taj Mahals here,” Bowman said. “We’re building three facilities for three separate purposes for less money than some towns (spend) for one building.”

Oakland moved into its new fire station in March of 2020 and the police station three and a half years before that.

“The town of Oakland has been investing in itself for the last seven years,” Bowman said.

“And it’s paid off,” Snowden followed.

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