The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 1, 2009

Architect explains Article 22: Gleason restoration plan

A small but attentive audience attended the public meeting on April 16 at the Gleason Public Library to learn more about the proposed library restoration and repair project going before Town Meeting on May 4. (See Mosquito, “Gleason Library project prepares for Town Meeting” April 10, 2009). Library Trustee Priscilla Stevens introduced Architect Drayton Fair of Lerner, Ladds and Bartels, Inc., who presented an overview of the diagnostic work and water testing performed on the building this winter and the recommendations for a comprehensive repair of the Gleason Public Library historic façade. The forum was filmed and will be shown on CCTV’s Channel 9.

An Article for the restoration of the library, including roofing, façade, windows and foundation, will appear on the Warrant for Town Meeting. The Article will recommend using $775,000 of the town’s Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds.

Fair presented evidence of water damage to the library’s exterior “envelope,” including cracks in the mortar and bricks on the façade, and the roof slates. Photos of the basement, attic, and main rooms showed water damage, and illustrated gaps around the windows and the foundation. “After our testing we could see water seeping into the basement,” he explained. He noted the landscaping has over the years been brought up over the granite molding, allowing water to pool against the exterior. “The building is a beautiful building,” he said. “Now is the time to take care of it.” He said the foundation is essentially a “rubble foundation” so care needs to be taken when excavating around the exterior.

Carlisle Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett asked if Fair’s company has had experience working on libraries. Fair said they have worked on many, including the historic library buildings in Maynard, Wayland and Watertown. He said the engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger specializes in renovating building “envelopes.”

Library Trustee candidate Jay Luby asked about unforeseen work needed when the windows are removed during the repairs. “We haven’t seen any catastrophic failures” around the windows, Fair replied. “If there are problems it is still within the scope of the work.” Stevens noted there are contingency funds worked into the $775,000.

Kay Woodward noted the difficulty in reusing the roof slate. “You have to be careful when it is removed.” Fair said the slate is in excellent shape, is top quality, and that it is less expensive to reuse the existing slate than to replace it.

“It’s a responsible project,” said Fair. “It is important that you have good maintenance in the future,” he added. “There will be a time again when you have to scrape and paint the windows. It’s good to see a town taking care of its historic buildings.” ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito