Byram Municipal Building Report

| 18 Apr 2019 | 11:01

    BYRAM TOWNSHIP. The Municipal Building subcommittee delivers formal recommendation to council.
    By Mandy Coriston
    Byram- After nearly a year of work, the Byram Municipal Building Subcommittee presented a formal recommendation to the Township Council, at the governing body’s regular meeting on Tuesday evening, April 16. The 10-page document lays out a timeline of the subcommittee’s efforts, including the process by which they identified their mission and narrowed their focus, what options they weighed for a new municipal complex, and what they feel the next phases of the project should entail.
    With most of the subcommittee in attendance, Cris Franco, who prepared and assembled the report, and John Mortyko, who has emerged as the de facto spokesperson for the group, sat before the council and offered a summary.
    “This is not a comprehensive analysis,” Morytko said. “This is about the process, the challenge we took on to find a solution. No one on the subcommittee thinks that we don’t need to do something (about the current building). We spent a lot of time exploring the history of the complex- we wanted to know what went right, and what mistakes to not repeat.”
    Franco said one of the most difficult parts of the research was discovering the true scope of the work needed to provide a solid police department and municipal building.
    “All the members of the committee have an interest in keeping costs down,” she said. “I was personally disappointed that the Open Space at the Intermediate School wasn’t a more viable option, but I think we all thought it would take a lot less money to convert that space.”
    The Nader Group, LLC, was hired in December to provide analysis and preliminary designs to the subcommittee and council. Their Mar 2019 report ruled out the feasibility of utilizing the school’s Open Space, and presented a handful of options for renovating and rebuilding at the municipal complex’s current location on Mansfield Drive.
    The subcommittee’s recommendations include the continued exploration of the Nader Group’s proposed design 1-C, which would allow for renovation and expansion of the current mortar building, removal of the shed roof building, and all new construction for an updated police department. The committee would also like the council to retain an independent construction estimator to begin exploring options for building materials and construction methods.
    Lastly, the committee wants to remain together as a group during the next phases of the project.
    “We’d like the council to decide the additional charge of this subcommittee,” Franco said. “We are taxpayers here working on this, and we’re really trying to do what’s right by the town.”
    The council will consider the subcommittee’s recommendations and take action at the next scheduled council meeting, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. All documents regarding the municipal building project, including the subcommittee’s report, can be found on the township’s website,, under the News & Noteworthy tab, click Municipal Building Subcommittee Meeting Minutes/Agendas and/or New Municipal Building Project Information 2016-2019.