It seemed the perfect solution. With the Paul Sawyier Library set to build a new building on the adjacent property on Wapping Street, city officials saw a chance to move into the newly vacated, beautiful and historic building.
But such a move would be costly and hinder future expansion, according to a report from a consultant released last week. The report said the project would cost $3.4 million without a parking structure, and about $3.7 million with a parking structure. That cost estimate doesn't include the acquisition cost of the building.
"It can be done, but it is not an ideal solution," the report warned. "An ideal solution will require either a very large addition to the Paul Sawyier building (to resolve adjacency problems and room area inadequacies) or a new building entirely."
The report, completed by the consulting firm CMW, Inc. of Lexington, was released Thursday and was commissioned by the city earlier this month at a cost of $14,890.
For more on this story, see today's State Journal.