Jan 17, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Village residents may have noticed increased noise and a flurry of activity at the old Fennell Street fire station recently as contractors officially began the renovation work that ultimately will create the new village hall. Three massive dumpster-size recycling bins can now be seen in the three apparatus bays of the building, and a row of pickup trucks and construction vehicles will now constantly be parked in front and along the side of the structure as construction the contractors undertake their work.
“Everything is going well so far, the first week of construction. No hiccups. I anticipate it will go well through the project,” said Bob Lotkowictz, village director of municipal operations and project coordinator for the new village hall renovations.
The renovation work not only began as soon into the new year as possible, but the renovation work permit was actually the first permit issued in 2013 by the village code enforcement office, according to a report by CEO Adam D’Amico.
The work began at the end of the first week of January when village DPW crews removed the defunct antenna tower and the old fire siren from the roof of the building. The DPW rented a crane for a few hours to help with the dismantling of the 95-foot communications antenna and had it down within two hours, Lotkowictz said. Both the antenna and siren towers are now piled in a heap behind the village police station until the scrap metal can be either recycled or discarded.
The village will replace the siren eventually, although the logistics of where it will be placed, how loud the volume will be and how exactly it will be operated are still being looked into, Lotkowictz said.
On Monday, Jan. 7, village officials and contractors had a pre-construction meeting, after which the renovations officially began, Mayor Marty Hubbard told the village board at its Jan. 10 meeting.
The general contracting crew of James & Son Construction Co., Inc., of Skaneateles, started their work at the building site the week of Jan. 7 preparing the interior for the demolition of the concrete floors in order to install new plumbing pipes, Lotkowictz said.
When the demolition is completed, excavation for the piping will be done and then Avolio Brothers plumbers, of Norwich, will come in and put in the plumbing. Avolio began their work setup in the building on Monday, Jan. 14, said Don Brosh, foreman for the Avolio Brothers.
“This is a really nice structure, a nice building,” Brosh told the Skaneateles Press. “Do you know how much it would cost to build something like this today?”
When the plumbing work is completed, the framers will go in and frame up the interior walls, at which point the electricians and HVAC will begin installation, Lotkowictz said. When the weather starts to warm up, the roofing work will begin.
“I’m very pleased with all the contractors we have, they’re all engaged in the job and I’m confident will put their best foot forward to deliver a good product to the village,” Hubbard told the Skaneateles Press.
The construction plans call for the interior renovations to be finished by the end of April, with the exterior work to be done by the end of June, Lotkowictz said.
While the construction work is underway, Lotkowictz and other village officials will meet this week with representatives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to begin the process of obtaining the $546,493 energy efficiency grant for which the village was recently approved by the state, Lotkowictz said.
At the meeting the two sides will discuss the scope of the renovation work, the budget and the timeline for the contract in order to draw up a contract that will allow the village to ultimately collect the grant money, Lotkowictz said.
The grant will be used to fund green energy technology aspects to the project such as a solar panel array on the roof, LED lighting throughout the building and an underground geothermal heating system that will ultimately make the building a net-zero facility, said Trustee Jim Lanning, a member of the new village hall steering committee and one of the major forces responsible for applying for the NYSERDA grant.
“It was a team effort, but I did lobby extensively with all the grant providers locally and in Albany — sometimes daily — and we made a lot of people aware of [our net-zero proposal],” Lanning said. “The main strength of our case was our ability to showcase this technology. Skaneateles has a lot of visitors every year.”
The village plans to install a monitor in the lobby of the completed village hall that will show visitors the building’s energy usage, Lanning said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.