Woodstock planning ahead on projects

Woodstock is beginning to look at what necessary capital projects it will need to plan for over the next five years.

Staff have begun the annual budgeting process beginning with the capital program update.

The town administration recently held a meeting with department heads to begin to update the five-year Capital Improvements Program. Department heads will have until the end of November to submit formal requests of future capital needs with information and quotes, said Angela Clem, Woodstock Town Manager.

The program is an important link to implementation of the towns strategic plan, which outlines the vision, mission, values and goals of the Town Council and staff.

One of the bigger projects for the town during the next five years will be the renovation of the former Woodstock High School on West Court Street into the town offices.

The five-year ongoing project will be on the plan.

“We will be honing in on a good estimate for the renovating of the building this month during our capital improvement program process,” Clem said when asked about a project estimated cost.

Town administrators will be exploring historic tax credits and other funding opportunities during the next couple of years, she said.

The renovation has been scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2022, with engineering and architectural planning occurring in 2021. It is closer to 2021 that the town anticipates soliciting proposals from design firms to prepared renovation construction documents.

Some work has already been done in the building by the town’s public works crew, including the removal of partitions, paneling and other items not original to the former school. They have also secured the building with new doors at all walk-up entrances.

“We would like to have an event prior to 2020 that supports and celebrates Woodstock’s history of this structure, many citizens attended school there and have fond memories of the area,” Clem said.

The event would be a good opportunity for town administrators to receive public input into the design, she said.