Whately chooses possible contractor for historic town hall renovations

  • The Whately Town Hall.

For the Gazette
Thursday, September 28, 2017

WHATELY — A New Hampshire company has been chosen as the likely general contractor on a project to turn the historic Town Hall into a Community Center and Historical Society museum.

Wesfield Construction of West Chesterfield, N.H., made a winning bid of $1,335,321. Currently, town officials are reaching out to others who’ve had work completed by Wesfield Construction “to ensure that the town is comfortable moving forward,” Town Administrator Brian Domina said. He noted “the town has sufficient funds to move forward.”

Notable past projects by Wesfield Construction include the Summit House atop Skinner Mountain and Gardner District Court.

Whately’s Town Hall rehabilitation project, which has been approved by town officials and residents, will be paid for through a combination of state, local and private funds. Of that, $340,000 comes from Community Preservation Act money and $315,000 is from a $1.2 million American Tower Corp. cell tower sale last year.

“The exact details and timing of the project will be determined over the next few weeks,” Domina said.

Its designer is Jones Whitsett Architects of Greenfield. Five other contractors submitted proposals following a bid request in August. Those are Kronenberger and Sons with a base bid of $1,446,000; W.J. Mountford Co., $1,594,000; RAC Builders, $1,496,000; Souliere and Zepka, $1,373,000; Wright Builders, $1,394,521.

Wesfield Construction’s bid was the lowest. Companies were asked to submit two additional bids with the base proposal. One for alternative site work to install a ramp, a second for a new septic system. Wesfield Construction proposed $71,800 for the ramp and $69,000 for the septic system.

General rehabilitation work includes renovating the building’s plumbing, installing energy-efficient insulation and windows, updating heating and cooling units, and building a small addition for new stairs and a handicapped-accessible lift.

If everything goes as planned, the Whately Historical Society and Museum will move from the Center School to the building’s first floor, making the Center School available to be sold or repurposed. The second floor will be used as community space.