The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 2, 2004


Town Hall needs major repairs

The building is only seven years old, but the "new" Town Hall already requires major repairs to its heating/cooling system. According to Town Admin-istrator Madonna McKenzie, some very preliminary estimates suggest that repairs will run well into six figures.

A preliminary investigation of the current problem by Victory HVAC, who services the facility, led to the surprising discovery that the heating system designed for the building is not the one that was installed on the roof. What exists is an inadequate system, which has now failed, and will require a major investment to replace a boiler, and possibly a heat exchanger, and to reconstruct the duct work in the whole building. The latter will require that ceilings in many areas of the Town Hall will have to be disturbed.

Building Inspector Bob Koning appeared before the Board of Selectmen at their March 30 meeting with a letter from Byron Lamanakis of Victory HVAC that estimates the cost of rectifying the multiple design problems. Lamanakis prepared a preliminary budget, which Koning summarized as follows:

• New outdoor fired boiler, hot water piping, pipe insulation, gas piping: $140,000

• Replace existing variable air volume boxes with fan powered variable air volume boxes, along with hot water coils, including:

1. ductwork, ceiling removal

and reinstallation $172,500

2. control wiring: $48,000

The estimated budget price of over $360,000 is based on normal working hours.

Designing the replacement HVAC system involves going through existing ceilings, creating new mechanical drawings, and then determining the scope of work and sequence of controls in order to create a complete set of bid documents. This is expected to cost $18,400, plus another $3,200 for the contractor's proposal review based on the bid documents. Any jobsite review of the work being installed will be based on a rate of $140 per hour.

As a first step, the Selectmen added a request for $25,000 to the FY05 budget for the above mentioned diagnostics and design of an improved heating system. McKenzie hopes that the diagnostics and recommendations will be completed this summer and that an Article requesting funds for repair of the system can be placed before the Fall Town Meeting. It will not be possible to go through another winter without the repairs, she said.

The heating system has been a problem for as long as anyone remembers. The second floor northwest corner was frequently uncomfortably cold, reported McKenzie, with thermometers occasionally only reading 50 degrees last winter. Simultaneously, other parts of the building would be so hot the occupants would open windows. Last week the system would not turn on at all, requiring daily service calls.

McKenzie, who was not working in Carlisle at the time the Town Hall was built, wondered whether some last-minute changes were made during building construction in order to save time or money. So far, she has not been able to find the answer.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito