New DPW Project - Design Phase

The Boxford Select Board, Finance Committee, and Permanent Building Committee are requesting residents approve funding at May 14th Town Meeting to complete the design of a new DPW Facility to replace the existing 54-year-old garage, auxiliary sheds, and trailer. The structures are in poor condition, present occupational health and safety issues and are inadequate to meet the Town’s needs.

Current DPW Facility OfficesCurrent DPW Garage

Since February of this year, the Permanent Building Committee has been working with Helene-Karl Architect to start the process of designing a new Department of Public Works (DPW) facility to replace the existing 54-year-old garage, auxiliary sheds, and trailers.   For almost two decades, the Town has documented the need for a new facility to safely and efficiently support DPW operations. The existing facility has not kept pace with population, work, and equipment growth. The structures are in poor condition, present occupational health and safety issues, and are inadequate to meet the Town’s needs.

At the May 14th Town Meeting, voters will be asked to authorize $1.55M to fund the completion of the proposed site and building design and put the project out to bid for construction. The new facility will be centrally located on 3 acres of Town owned land beyond the Recycling Center and adjacent to the solar array. During this next phase, the proposed site and building will go through a comprehensive design development process to further refine and value engineer the project and create the most cost effective and efficient DPW facility for Boxford.

Learn More About the DPW Project

Residents can learn more about this project prior to Town Meeting in three main ways:

  1. Watch the April 29, 2024 Public Information Session at Town Hall:  A recording of the information session is located at the bottom of this page.  Link to copy of presentation.
  2. Get updates on the project website:  This website will include concepts and general information on the Permanent Building Committee's efforts from 2022 to date as it becomes available.

Rendering Office

Rendering Garage

Article 10 at May 14, 2024 Town Meeting

Article 10 on the May, 14, 2024 Town Meeting Warrant would authorize funding for the Permanent Building Committee to complete the design of the building, as well as obtain permits and construction bids.  The request for construction funds would come at a future Town Meeting.


Why a new DPW Facility?

The Problem

  • Our 10,500 sf DPW facility is in poor condition and is not adequate to meet the Town needs.  The garage is 54 years old; the salt shed is over 20 years old; the fuel island is more than 30 years old.  They have all exceeded their life expectancy.
  • The town has over $3M of assets that are not stored in secure, weather-tight buildings.  Some equipment are rusting faster because they are stored outside due to lack of space.
  • Facilities and space do not meet current building codes, life safety, accessibility, fire protection requirements. The current conditions expose the Town to potential health and safety issues arising from the DPW crew working in the facility.
  • Proper maintenance cannot be performed due to lack of proper wash down facilities and repair bays.
  • Our current salt shed, and fuel island must be replaced and will be relocated to the new DPW facility site.

The Assessment

  • The Town has studied and evaluated this issue for close to 20 years and developed a comprehensive plan for a new DPW facility.
  • Funding was approved at the 2022 and 2023 Town Meetings to design and permit the access driveway to the site and to hire a designer to complete schematic design and feasibility study.
  • We have evaluated multiple sites in Town which satisfy some requirements but did not meet all requirements and came with various restrictions.
  • Current equipment, assets, wash/repair bays, and code compliant employee space will require about 25,000 sf of space in a single centralized building.

The Solution

  • We have one site on current Town owned land that can house a centralized DPW facility, salt shed, fuel island and necessary space to operate a modern day DPW and house all of our assets in a weather tight, code compliant building.
  • We have developed a conceptual schematic design to bring forward to a full design process.
  • The Town will recover and can re-use the land on the current DPW site for passive and active recreational use.

The Process and Request

  • The PBC needs to hire a design/engineering firm with experience in DPW buildings to develop full construction ready drawings and specifications.
  • Throughout the next phase, we will continue to work towards controlling the overall cost of the facility while still meeting the operational needs of the DPW.
  • Town Meeting in May 2024 will request $1.55M in design services to provide a full set of construction drawings, full bid packages, and final construction costs.
  • Town Meeting in May 2025 will request construction funding to build a new 25,000 sf DPW facility.
Current DPW Facility Challenges Include:New DPW Facility Design would include:
Deteriorated conditions of 54 year old garage & 20+ year old salt shedNew DPW facility that will increase safety, productivity & efficiency for the next 50 years
Failing 30+ year old fuel pumpNew fuel pump station
Code compliance issues including OSHAProper ventilation, fire protection, life safety, ADA compliance
Insufficient containment of hazardous materialsSecondary containment of hazardous materials
Insufficient indoor vehicle storage leading to delays in responding to community needsIndoor vehicle storage that will protect multi-million-dollar assets
Inadequate storage requirements and inadequate electrical serviceProperly designed vehicle maintenance and repair areas
No storm water controlsStorm water controls
No vehicle wash areaClosed system vehicle wash
Undersized employee space including locker/toilet area and muster area Code and OSHA compliant and safe work environment for town employees
Nonexistent employee space including shower and training areaAppropriate employee facilities to meet state mandated requirements
 Opens up space for more recreational uses at Town Hall

DPW Site DPW Site Contex


The Boxford Department of Public Works touches the lives of Boxford residents every day by providing critical functions for the Town.  A new, modern facility would help improve services by increasing productively and efficiency.  DPW functions include:


  • Snow Plowing and De-icing
  • Pavement Management and construction and maintenance of over 100 miles of roadway
  • Brush side mowing and responsible street tree maintenance
  • Street Sweeping & Line Striping
  • Regulatory and street sign maintenance 


  • Street drainage maintenance of over 850 catch basins, 250 manholes, 250 culverts of varying sizes, and miles of other drainage features
  • Managing large capital improvement projects such as bridge replacement and dam maintenance
  • Maintenance and cleaning of drainage features for MS4 permit compliance and water quality

Fields, Campuses, Stiles Pond and Buildings

  • Mowing and soil amendments of over 600 acres of open space and fields.
  • Core aeration, overseeing, and topdressing of all athletic fields
  • Mulching and planting at parks and roadway islands
  • Irrigation maintenance an watering
  • Beach erosion and dock management
  • Assist the Tri-Town Union on grounds and campus maintenance at Cole and Spofford Pond Elementary
  • Maintaining and improving the Town's public buildings, including managing the asset management software program

Engineering Services

  • Technical reviews of development & construction
  • State and Federal permit compliance
  • Assisting residents, contractors, town staff, Tri-Town School Union, with technical expertise
  • Grant writing

Town Events

  • Setup, take down, and coordination of parades, Winter Fest, Apple Fest, Chowder fest
  • Setup, take down, and coordination of elections and Town Meetings
  • Assistance in management of Recycling Center


New DPW Project Information Session 4/29/24