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Hatfield’s $1M capital projects imminent

Renovations to the Town Hall garage could start as early as this week, while major upgrades to Memorial Town Hall on Main Street are expected to begin late next month, according to town officials.

“Both projects are slated to be completed by the end of December,” Town Administrator Paul Boudreau said.

The Select Board approved a $437,541 contract to Evergreen Construction Corp. of Springfield to renovate the Town Hall garage, which was built in the 1940s and is deteriorating. Part of the structure collapsed earlier from the weight of snow, though it is still used to house some town vehicles.

Once renovated, the garage will house the town’s police and fire departments, and ambulance service in new offices and garage bays.

“Evergreen is beginning to mobilize,” Boudreau said. “We might see them before the end of the week.”

In a related project, the Select Board this month approved a $547,277 contract to Marois Construction of South Hadley for renovations to Memorial Town Hall, a project designed to greatly improve the energy efficiency, functionality and handicapped accessibility of the building, which was constructed in 1929-30 by D.A. Sullivan & Sons of Northampton. The building has received no major upgrades since its construction, according to town documents.

The Town Hall project came in approximately $17,900 over budget and the board’s finance committee approved using that amount from the last fiscal year’s reserve fund to bridge the gap. Funding for both projects is coming from a combination of borrowing, the town’s free cash, and Community Preservation Act funds.

The Town Hall renovations involve creating new first-floor offices, meeting rooms, handicapped-accessible bathrooms, as well as a computer server, copy and mail room. New windows, exterior stairs, mechanical systems and telephone data systems also are part of what is being called the first phase of work needed at the building. A second phase would involve other improvements, including a new handicapped-access ramp, electrical and sprinkler systems, among others, according to Boudreau.

“As it stands now, it’s being broken into two phases,” Boudreau said. “Phase 2 is all about code compliance. Energy efficiency is a big part of this project as well.”

Boudreau, along with the town’s architect and Selectman Marcus J. Boyle are scheduled to meet Aug. 12 with the state’s Architectural Access Board to seek approval for a variance that would allow the town to begin renovations without bringing the entire building up to code all at once under the initial contract.

The review is required under law because of the scope of the project in relation to the building’s square footage and assessed value.

“They will probably put us onto some kind of a schedule to come into compliance,” Boudreau said of that future meeting.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.

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