25 High Road Temporary Trailer & Air Quality Reports

February 25, 2016
25 High Road Temporary Trailers
Due to the large volume of questions from citizens and Town employees I thought an email explaining the reason for the additional trailers and their location was necessary. 

In early May, I noticed the insulation to the rear of the two existing trailers was sagging.  Upon investigation I discovered the insulation to be saturated with water.  When the underside of the insulation was cut gallons of water poured out.  At this time I also noticed structural deficiencies in the trailers and their supports.  Due to the amount of water and suspected duration of time the insulation had been saturated I felt the air quality should be investigated.  I had an independent air quality company come in to test the trailers (results attached).  Upon receiving the results on May 12th the trailers were posted as unsafe and could no longer be used.  This was done prior to the election results and would have happened regardless of any results.  The Board of Health also had Michael Feeney the Director of Indoor Air Quality from the Department of Public Health to evaluate the trailers and he concurred the trailers should not be occupied both for the air quality as well as the structural deficiencies and advised caution in the event entry to the trailers was necessary.  It was identified that the trailers’ insulation, subfloor, flooring and carpeting was compromised and would need to be replaced, the visible structural issues, possible rot and contamination of wall structures as well as the overall age of the trailers, it was decided gutting and repairing the existing trailers was not cost effective and would result in further down time of the departments which were housed within them.

Prior to the Selectman’s meeting on the 5/26 discussions as to where to relocate the Police Chief, Deputy Chief, Detective, Fire Chief and two Board of Health agents were had by all individuals involved as well as the Town Administrator and the Facilities Manager.  Options included:

  • Relocation of offices to the Grange Hall – Grange is under a lease agreement, has events scheduled and police felt it would be too dysfunctional to be that far away from the PD.
  • Relocation to the Library – Events planned through the remainder of the year would need to be canceled, possible issues with Library Consortium and would require the relocation of Inspectional Services  and servers stored in IS trailer for Town Hall.  No location for servers could be identified leaving PD without sufficient space to operate as servers would need to remain in the IS trailer.
  • Relocation into the center of the existing Town Hall – IS and BOH would occupy TH meeting room, PD would occupy IS trailer leaving no room for servers or the Fire Chief.  This would also leave the Town with no meeting space requiring all boards and committees to find other accessible locations to meet. .
  • Replace trailers – This was identified to be the least disruptive solution.

At the May 5/26 Selectman’s meeting the above options were discussed and the trailer option was approved.  Initially one 12 x 60 PD trailer was approved with the assumption the BOH could work from the Georgetown Town Hall and the Fire Chief could find space in one of the Fire Stations.  The BOH could not function from another town as all files and their computers are in Newbury.  The Fire Chief approached both fire companies and found Pro 2 did not have the space for an office and we are still waiting for a response from Pro 1.  Due to the need for space for the BOH and Fire Chief a second trailer was leased upon approval by the Town Administrator. 

As to the location of the trailers, they are placed in the only locations left on the lot:

The condemned trailers can not be towed out of their current location as the IS trailer is now in the side lot blocking them.  To move the IS trailer which now also contains the Town’s servers is logistically very difficult to move and would result in a shutdown of Town Hall for roughly 2-3 weeks and cost additional dollars to disconnect and reconnect.  We had thought of using a crane to remove the condemned trailers but have concerns about their structural integrity and lifting them over Town Hall.  We would then still have to crane 2 new trailers into place as well.  Power lines, the Town Hall, Seabrook Siren and the IS trailer are all obstacles in attempting this.  We looked to place the new trailer(s) next to the existing IS trailer but found this not to be an option as the Fire Department uses the access next to the trailer for their forestry equipment and we are required to leave access for maintenance trucks to the Seabrook siren utility pole behind the IS trailer as well.  Next we considered placing the trailer in the side lot in front of the IS trailer but  the installation of the new sewer line that will be installed this summer/fall will be running through the parking spots in that location.  This would require the relocation of the trailer shortly after it was placed which is an additional cost.  The PD opted to use their current parking for their trailer and utilize the Fire Dept. parking for overflow.  The second trailer which was originally planned to be a 12 x 60 to replace the old 12 x 60 had to be reduced to an 8 x 44 to accommodate the current location in front of Town Hall.  We had to reduce the size to a shorter trailer as the only location the 12 x 60 would have fit was directly across the front of Town Hall.  Keep in mind although the trailers are mobile; the power, phones and IT are not.  Once a trailer is in place it costs a considerable amount of time and money to create workspace, power them up and outfit them with the equipment the departments need to do their jobs. 


The two condemned trailers were barely functional in size, the reduction in space is even more dysfunctional.  None of the three trailers have bathrooms, files need to be kept in other locations, they are not handicap accessible and in general do not meet codes for anything other than a very short term solution.  Section 108 of 780 CMR The State Building Code allows the Building Official to authorize the use of temporary structures for a “limited time of service, but shall not be permitted for more than 180 days”.  As the Building Official I have granted the permit for the use of the trailers for 180 days and have granted an extension of an additional 180 days for “demonstrated cause” as allowed under the Building Code as I find the Town’s seeking approval for a new facility to meet that criteria under the code.  If at the end of the two 180 day periods approved the Town can not demonstrate cause for further extension the temporary use will need to cease the use of the trailers and find other options to house the offices currently utilizing the trailers.   

Please find below the results for the Air Quality Testing performed on May 8, 2015 for the Police Department's Main Office and the Police Department Office Trailer that houses Police Administrative Offices, Fire Chief and the Board of Health.

Newbury Police Trailer Mold Report
Newbury Police Main Mold Report

Respectfully, Sam Joslin

Newbury Building Commissioner & Facilities Manager
25 High Road, Newbury, MA 01951
978-465-0862 x 309
Fax: 978-465-3064