Adams Moving Forward With Library Renovations

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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File photo.

The town alloted $75,000 for the engineering work.

ADAMS, Mass. — The town is reviewing applications from three architects to develop a restoration plan for the library.

According to Director of Community Development Donna Cesan, edm Architects, Barry Architects and Austin Design have all submitted proposals.

The plan is to evaluate the building, determine what repairs are critical and develop preliminary plans with cost estimates.

Once the town has secured funding for construction, the winning bidder will be asked to develop final designs.

Construction could begin as early as next fall depending on the costs and funding sources.

Cesan said she hopes to award the contract by the middle of January so the initial phases could be completed by the spring when state grants become available.

"It's not only a real important building for the town but it is right on Park Street," Cesan said, adding that the town has recently performed many facade project to spruce up the town's main road.

In 2010 the town had edm do an initial review of the library and the Registry of Deeds and later spent about $225,000 for masonry and window work. Similar issues were found at the library.

Now, the library is moving forward with a $75,000 town appropriation to complete the next steps of engineering. On Dec. 20, the town received the three proposals and in the coming weeks will determine which firm to work with and enter negotiations.

"We're looking for someone who has done some historic work before," Cesan said. "We're focused on the front facade."

The building upgrade could be eligible for partial funding from the state Historical Commission so Cesan wants to have as much information for that application as possible.

However, she is cautious in saying that without knowing the full extent of the needed repairs, the town could not pursue the project at all or seek a different funding method.

"We won't go to the second phase without a funding source," she said.

Cesan said the town will be developing a strategy for funding by the spring and hopes that a construction contract could be awarded by the end of the summer. Work could either begin in the fall or the spring of 2014, she said.

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