Bids going out for Bridgton Town Hall repairs

By Gail Geraghty
Staff Writer
Bridgton Selectmen are very close to the bidding phase for long-awaited structural improvements to the Town Hall on North High Street.
Construction is expected to get underway this coming March on the $300,000 project, which will address water problems, repair a broken beam in the first floor framing and rotted sill plates and greatly improve the energy efficiency in the turn-of-the-century historic building. The project also will replace existing windows and doors, repair damaged vinyl siding, add more outdoor lighting and provide a time switch for night setback control of the heating system.
Eric Dube and Tony Gillis of Casco Bay Engineering told selectmen at their last meeting that they are working with a company that does professional estimating, and provided the board with those estimates.
The base total was $217,384, with a grand total of $301,670 once contingencies, insurance and overhead was added on.
The engineers also provided another $240,000 in construction estimates for additional alternative work, should the board choose to pursue it. For example, instead of repairing only the damaged vinyl siding the entire building could be resided, but it would cost the town an additional $23,455. Another big ticket item that was recommended was a $122,675 roof replacement, in addition to the replacement of chimney flashing and caulking of cracks in the foundation that is included in the base bid proposal.
The rear parking lot will also be regraded to redirect water away from the foundation and sill plates once they have been repaired. Also, the entrance stairs will be replaced and the front ramp will be removed.
Voters at the June Town Meeting approved a total of around $325,000 for the Town Hall project, with $101,000 coming from Community Development Block Grant funds and $225,000 from interest income from the Moose Pond Trust Fund. The town will borrow the $225,000 up front, and pay back the loan over five years with the interest income.
Dube said he came up with the final project estimates after meeting several times with Anne Krieg, Bridgton’s Director of Planning, Economic and Community Development.
Around $110,000 will be spent on energy improvements that include blown-in cellulose insulation in the walls, under the roof and below the ground floor. That, along with the new doors and windows, should greatly reduce heating costs of the building that average around $40,000 a year.
“Last winter was absolutely brutal for everybody,” Dube said, but especially for a poorly-insulated building like the Town Hall.
Krieg said she is still awaiting a go-ahead on the project from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
“It’s still now clear what level of review we’re going to have” with the state agency, which has oversight authority over façade renovations of established historical buildings whenever CDBG funds are involved.
Dube said he didn’t think the Commission was going to be too particular in requiring window replacements that are historically authentic. “Given the fact that it’s a vinyl-sided building, with an oil tank out front, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem,” he said.
Windows do take some time, however, he said. It’s usually six to 12 weeks for delivery after windows are ordered. The project will likely be done by several different contractors, each with their own timeline, but Dube said all of the work should be completed within three to four months after it begins in March.

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