NEW HARTFORD — The Town Board has approved the final two contractor bids to transition the former Gander Mountain building into a new town hall and work has begun at the site.

The board approved bids for HVAC and plumbing at a special meeting last month. It decided to reject and revise the bids for electrical and general construction.

Altogether, the four bids came to $2.9 million — which is more than the $2.5 million the board wanted to allot for the project.

At the Sept. 14 meeting, Town Supervisor Paul Miscione said there was a lot the town could eliminate from the two bids. He said there were some items — such as rafters and detailed molding — that increased the costs on some of the bids.

Miscione said he was happy with how the bids came back.

The town received four bids for electrical work. The board went with Knapp Electric, which came in with a bid of $685,500.

The town received seven bids for general construction. The board chose Putrello, which came in with a base bid of $1,588,000.

“I think it’s great,” Miscione said about the bids coming in and HVAC work beginning at the site. “I really think we’re moving in the right direction.”

In September, the town received three bids for HVAC. The board voted to go with Schmalz Mechanical Contractors for $232,000. It received two bids for plumbing and awarded it to Brandeles Corp. for $430,000.

The town closed on the former Gander Mountain building June 28 after agreeing in March to purchase it for $1.9 million. It encompasses 50,000 square feet and will house all the town offices, including the police department, senior services center and town court, which consolidated earlier this year with the village court.

The building will house 120 offices, with the largest being the police department and courts.

GYMO Architecture, Engineering, Environmental & Land Surveying DPC in Watertown drew up the plans for the interior renovations. GYMO also designed the original blueprints for Gander Mountain, which saved the town money.

The engineering company also planned the building’s design with possible expansion of the departments in mind.

Upon entering the building through the original front entrance, residents will enter a vestibule. A window for the town clerk will be on the left and the court clerk will be on the right. A lobby will be accessible from the front of the vestibule.

The town court will be in the center of the building, at the top of the lobby. The police department — including a sally port to bring in suspects — will be to the right of the courts.

The town meeting room, senior center and the other various departments will be to the left side of the court.

The town board had plans of having some of the town departments — especially the town clerk’s office — move into the new town hall by the new year.

Fourth Ward Councilman Rich Woodland said it was good for the town to have all of its services and departments under one roof.

“That’s something that needed to happen,” Woodland said. “I’m glad that it did.”

First Ward Councilman James Messa said he was happy for the added security, which includes police surveillance equipment and trackable key card access.

“You want to make sure the employees are safe, the people coming in are safe,” Messa said.

Contact reporter Ed Harris at 315-792-5063 or follow him on Twitter (@OD_EHarris).