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Town board interviews potential architects for Gothic Cottage renovation project

Discussions take place behind closed doors despite supervisor’s objection

The Gothic Cottage, built in 1847, is in need of structural renovations. Whether the town board decides to upgrade and possibly even build an addition to the building to better house the town offices will depend on the plan ultimately proposed by the architectural form selected for the work. The board will discuss the issue at its Aug. 12 meeting.

The Gothic Cottage, built in 1847, is in need of structural renovations. Whether the town board decides to upgrade and possibly even build an addition to the building to better house the town offices will depend on the plan ultimately proposed by the architectural form selected for the work. The board will discuss the issue at its Aug. 12 meeting.

— No financial issues were discussed during the interviews and the town will not have any hard figures for project costs until an architect is hired and renovation plans are created, Zupan said.

Million-dollar question

Monforte said that where the town offices eventually end up is, in fact, a “million-dollar question” because whether the town board decides to stay and renovate the Gothic Cottage or leave and build a new home, either choice will potentially cost about $1 million.

The bottom line, he said, is: “Should we spend it there [at Gothic Cottage] or elsewhere?”

Monforte said to find a new location to build a modern town hall —on a site such as the Trush property — would be “a great idea and a great utilization of that property and a huge improvement to the whole community.”

While it is still too early in the process for cost estimates to come out on the possible Gothic Cottage renovation, Monforte said it will only be after the board sees the “real costs” of the project that it will be able to decide the best course of action to take.

For this reason, the board intends to ask whoever gets the architectural contract to provide the town with not just a building assessment, but also a work space assessment and a historic assessment, Monforte said.

The building assessment will identify the general structural deficiencies and renovation needs for the entire building, which the town would be obligated to undertake anyway if it decided to ultimately sell the building and move out; the work space assessment would examine how to renovate the interior while also allowing the best space utilization possible for the necessary municipal offices in the space; while the historic assessment will identify the significant historic aspects of the Gothic Cottage, how those aspects can be preserved and protected and also help identify possible state and federal grants to help fund the project.

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