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WIC board asks for changes in JCLDC expansion plans

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On Tuesday, J. Paul Morgan said he did not like a spacious canopy planned for the Jefferson County Local Development Corp.’s expansion project on Starbuck Avenue.

And the Watertown Industrial Center board member scoffed at the canopy’s $25,000 cost. The canopy, which will cover JCLDC visitors when they enter the Watertown Center for Business and Industry, was oddly shaped and too large, Mr. Morgan told others on the WIC board. He suggested a rectangular canopy.

“I think it looks weird,” he said, adding it did not fit with the other entrances of the business incubator building.

Michelle L. Capone, another WIC board member, agreed.

On Tuesday, board members got a first look at the final blueprints for the estimated $475,000 project for the JCLDC’s new administrative offices.

The agency will move from a different part of the Starbuck Avenue facility into a new 4,563-square-foot addition. The agency has agreed on a 10-year lease for the space from WIC, which owns and manages the corporate park and intends to finance the project.

Despite questioning the canopy, WIC board members liked the layout of the new headquarters, which includes enough new offices for future expansion, separate conference and meeting rooms and a work room.

In responding to the suggestions by the WIC board, William J. Soluri, the industrial center’s site manager, said Tuesday the WIC “usually tries to meet the needs of tenants” when it comes to similar projects.

Yet he brought the suggestions to the architectural firm designing the project, and the consultant made the changes. A day after Tuesday’s board meeting, WIC officials met with Aubertine and Currier Architects, Engineers & Land Surveyors PLLC to discuss the canopy.

As a result of that meeting, the odd-shaped canopy will now be rectangular. To go along with the rest the building’s front, awnings will be added to a pair of windows, Mr. Soluri said.

Representatives from Aubertine and Currier could not be reached for comment.

Once the final drawings are completed, the project will go out to bid. Construction will start later

The space to be occupied by the agency is now used by Environmental Spill Products, which would relocate to Building A; the agency’s abandoned office space would be leased by WIC to a new tenant.

In September, Mr. Morgan criticized JCLDC officials, contending that the WIC board had no idea the agency was pursuing new offices.

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