January 19, 2010


Homer Town Hall face-lift continues

Town Board awards $235,400 bid to replace windows, repair concrete on structure

Staff Reporter

HOMER — The Town Board has awarded a bid to Syracuse-based Diamond and Thiel Construction Co. to replace the windows and repair concrete on the 100-year-old Town Hall building.
Diamond and Thiel’s base bid is for $235,400. But the project contains additional variable costs that will be determined after construction begins, said Town Supervisor Fred Forbes.
Forbes estimated Monday the work will cost between $275,000 and 300,000.
Replacing all of the building’s windows and repairing concrete around the exterior of the building are the final steps in renovating the exterior of the Town Hall. There are 54 windows on the building, Forbes estimated.
Diamond and Thiel plans to start the work in May and complete it in September, Forbes said.
“The work has got to be done so the windows and the cement doesn’t deteriorate any more than it has already,” Forbes said.
Forbes said the windows all leak air, and the building will be easier to heat after they are replaced.
Forbes said his biggest worry now is whether the town will receive $100,000 in aid promised by the state for the windows and concrete, citing the cuts to programs and projects throughout the state as his reason for concern.
Forbes said Monday that the variable costs might include $7,750 for window headers, which are precast concrete pieces that will be replaced on some windows as needed. The window headers cost $1,550 apiece, and Diamond and Tiel predicted that five would need to be replaced, Forbes said.
Forbes said the cost for replacing window sills as needed could add up to $600 total.
Town officials are also contacting two companies to test the putty used on the Town Hall windows for asbestos.
Town Attorney Pat Snyder said he has contacted Freetown-based Asbestos and Lead Abatement about testing the windows, and Councilman Barry Warren is contacting another company. The tests will only cost “a couple hundred dollars” and does not require a bidding process, Snyder said.
It is possible that asbestos could be found in the window putty used to hold the panes in place because asbestos was commonly used during construction of the building, Forbes said. If it is found, asbestos abatement could cost the town an additional $500 per window, Forbes said.
The next phase of the Town Hall project will renovate the inside of the building.
“I foresee that when we do the interior, we’ll probably tear out all the offices and redo everything in there,” Forbes said, adding that he has no official plans, cost estimates or timeline for that phase.
The work already completed on the Town Hall, which includes general construction, electrical work, plumbing and heating, air conditioning and ventilation work, and paving the parking lot, costs between $900,000 and $1 million, Forbes said.
Architects from Syracuse-based firm Crawford and Stearns and construction workers from Diamond and Thiel remodeled the outer front of the building to repair damage. They also added an addition to the northeast side of the building to make room for a new, more spacious courtroom, a stairway and a wheelchair-accessible elevator.
The building houses a courtroom and the offices of the town supervisor, the town clerk, the assessor, the mayor and the Homer village clerk, and a senior citizens center.


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