2017-02-17 / Front Page

Council approves building study for city hall repairs

CLAREMONT — The City Council voted Wednesday to move forward with a city hall building study and use the results to guide and prioritize future repairs.

The council approved $10,500 in city funds to conduct the projected six-month study.

“It’s taking a close look at the building and any historic elements and improvements that [the city] would like to be made,” said Kurt Beek, project manager for the Claremont Planning and Development Department.

Built in 1897, the City Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The study is also being funded by a $10,000 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) matching grant the city was awarded last year.

The LCHIP grant is part of a larger matching grant package totaling $3.5 million to be used to fund 35 projects throughout New Hampshire. Recipients included 19 historic resource projects and 16 natural resource projects.

Claremont Planning and Development Director Nancy Merrill said the next step is to hire an independent architectural engineer to perform the study.

The study will also take a close look at the building’s energy efficiency, handicap access, and problem areas including leaks in the vintage copper roof. The historic windows will also be evaluated for energy efficiency.

Merrill said estimates to repair the roof have been as high as $400,000.

“It’s an old building, so it’s not a surprise. It makes sense for the city to look in the direction [of a building study],” Merrill said.

LCHIP is an independent state authority that provides matching grants to New Hampshire communities and nonprofits to protect and preserve the state’s most important resources.

Since its inception in 2000, the program has provided 372 grants to support preservation efforts in 149 communities.

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