The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 20, 2008

Library restoration committee seeks specialist to assess damage

With the approval of Article 21 at May Town Meeting, $40,000 in Community Preservation Act funds were allocated to the Gleason Public Library to assess the cause of water damage in the older section of the building and to specify a plan to repair the damage to the historic structure. The Building Restoration Committee met on June 12 to finalize the wording of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the work.

The RFP requests bids from restoration specialists to assess the state of the damage, to provide restoration/repair options, cost estimates and timetables, to identify historic preservation, green incentives and other funding sources, to develop plans and specifications for the repair work and to provide ongoing preservation maintenance information. Other items included in this RFP, such as assisting with the selection of a qualified contractor, are contingent on restoration project funding.

The committee expects that the RFP will be posted by late June and site walks will be conducted on July 9 and July 16. Proposals are due on August 1 and the committee will meet to begin the review process on August 7. According to Library Director Angela Mollet, if all goes as planned, the town plans to begin the building assessment by August 18.

The committee also discussed the possibility of applying to have the library placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Committee member Dale Ryder provided some information about the advantages of the designation, including: eligibility for certain grants, relaxed application of certain laws and codes for historic buildings and protection from destruction as the result of any federal project such as building a new highway. Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett noted, however, that once on the register, choice of building materials and use of modern technologies may be proscribed. The committee agreed to contact surrounding towns about their experiences with National Register designation. ∆

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