Cherry Hill Lane project moves toward bidding

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 8:00am
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The Block Island Housing Board has begun to review design drawings for the five homes in the Cherry Hill Lane affordable housing development, the next step toward bringing the long-planned project to fruition. Members plan to consult with Town Manager Ed Roberge about the process of issuing bids for preparing the site and constructing the homes.

Board member John Spier told the group at its July 11 meeting that he had recently received plans and specifications for the building shells from the Housing Board’s architect, Frank Karpowicz. 

“I will have to take some time to review these,” said Spier of the drawings. His initial assessment: The architect “did what we asked,” and “We have house plans that can go out to bid.”

Karpowicz also provided preliminary quotes for erecting the roofs and exterior walls of the using roof trusses and “panelized” wall sections pre-fabricated off-island. That construction technique is “probably a pretty cost-effective way to go,” Spier said. The other board members agreed, with Patty Murphy noting that modular home builder Connecticut Valley Homes had a shell design “nearly identical” to Karpowicz’s proposed two-bedroom home.

Spier and Housing Board Chair Cindy Pappas plan to meet with Roberge about the content and process of bid documents. Roberge has volunteered his expertise in developing Requests for Proposals to help the Board with the bidding process.

As previously reported in The Block Island Times, the subdivision’s infrastructure – access road, drainage and septic systems, wells, water lines and other underground utilities – will likely be issued as a bid package separate from the buildings’ construction.

The Cherry Hill Lane project is planned to include five new homes on a 4.5-acre property off Cooneymus Road, two with two bedrooms and three with three bedrooms, to be sold to qualifying year-round island residents. The project has attracted criticism from nearby property owners and others. Nevertheless, the town’s Planning and Zoning Boards have signed off on the preliminary plan stage.

The next Housing Board meeting is set for Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m., at the Town Hall.