Library Renovation Update

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p12_n79_50119_KML_NightThe January 26 meeting of the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) was brief. With discussion of the library project, the major plans for the Town Hall renovation and expansion, and some comments on contracting for the tennis courts at the planned Bridge Street Community Center, the meeting lasted only three quarters of an hour. There really wasn’t much to decide about, as progress awaits inputs.

Work to help predict the cost of PCB remediation at the library is progressing. The ceiling paint was removed by sandblasting from four coffers of the waffled ceiling. Shallow core samples of the exposed ceiling concrete indicate very low levels of the contaminant. The Commission is awaiting a new cost estimate for sandblasting the entire ceiling, which is expected to be greater than the preliminary estimate of $286,000. Painting the sandblasted ceiling with a three-part epoxy to encapsulate any residual PCB was estimated to cost $186,000. The Commission is considering painting the interior walls to encapsulate any PCB there, so Facilities Manager Julie Oates has been working with paint contractors on paint adhesion tests.

Matt Auchy, district sales manager for PPG, attended the February 16 PBC meeting to propose painting the ceiling with a coating that he claimed would encapsulate satisfactorily without sandblasting. A local resident, he was hoping to save the town money. There was considerable discussion of the idea, which may be tested in a limited region.

Ancillary costs for all this work will be substantial, including removing light fixtures and Wiremold temporarily, protecting the sprinkler heads, and replacing the wall-mounted shelving.

The Commission is still awaiting a report and a remediation plan recommendation from consultant Robert May. This is not expected until more of the pilot test results and new procedure costs are gathered. One commissioner ventured that all the work might cost $750,000, and that didn’t include contaminant disposal and new shelving. At this point no funds for the remediation work have been authorized by the Town. First Selectman Melissa Mack proposes to fund the work from grants.

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