June 26, 2009
Grasmere Town Hall to get new doors
Also foyer and staircase:
Company hired to build replica doors


GOFFSTOWN - In a joint meeting Monday night, the Goffstown Board of Selectmen and the Historic District Commission unanimously voted to expend more than $27 thousand from the Grasmere Town Hall Capital Reserve Fund to replace the historic hall’s doors and refurbish the foyer and a staircase.

The contract for the work was awarded to Target New England, a Wolfboro-based contracting company that does historic preservation work.

Elizabeth Dubrulle, the chairwoman of the Historic District Commission, said $27,473 would come from the reserve fund, with an additional $10 to $11 thousand coming from a New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources grant.

Dubrelle told the committee that because the Division of Historical Resources has very strict guidelines, the project required a contractor who would be able to accurately recreate the historic doors on the building, which date back to when it was built in 1889.

“They have strict guidelines about what can be done and what cannot be done with the money that they are giving,” Dubrelle said. “It really isn’t an option to just come in and put all new things on,” she said.

Originally, the division wanted the original doors to be refurbished, and Dubrelle said the commission had to prove to the division that refurbishing the door was not possible.

“The wood is in kind of shaky condition,” she said, and the fire department told her that the doors, which swing in both directions, were unacceptable.

Target New England will create replicas of the original doors, Dubrelle said.

“The doors are going to be specially made,” she said.

The commission had to move quickly to find a contractor because the grant requires work to be finished by September 17.

Scott Gross, chairman of the board of selectmen, asked if because it was a specialty trade there were limited companies that could do the work.

Mark Collins, who was on the subcommittee that reviewed the bids for the contract, told him that of all the companies who put bids on the project, only two appeared to be companies who were involved with historic preservation. Others were commercial contractors, he said.

Collins said the town received reference lists, but did not have time to check the references. Ruth Gage, who also served on the subcommittee, said they did a thorough job of vetting candidates.

“We went though everything and every one of them, in the short time we had to work on it and I really think we did a thorough job of going over this,”  Gage said,

In addition to the doors, work will also be done on the foyer and the stairs inside, which lead to a theater that commission plans to refurbish above the town hall’s meeting rooms.

The work will complete a substantial part of the building's restoration, which has been one of the commission's highest priorities.

“A few years ago we re-did the whole front of the Grasmere Town Hall. This will finish the restoration of that,” Durbelle said.



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