DERRY — The Adams Memorial Building needs about $125,000 in ceiling and roof work, according to Public Works officials.
A structural review of the building was completed in September and revealed some major overstressing of beams. There was so much stress being placed on the beams that the balcony had to be closed, Mike Fowler, public works director, told councilors in a meeting last week.
Fowler presented an update on the building and the results of the structural review.The Adams Memorial Building houses the Derry Opera House and is also home to the Greater Derry–Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Derry Housing Authority.
Despite the work that is needed, the building remains open, Fowler said.
“The lower level is not in any structural deficiency that we are aware of,” Fowler said. “It’s primarily in the roof and ceiling components.”
Closing the balcony has reduced the capacity from about 375 patrons to 275, Fowler said.
“As I understand it, they (the Greater Derry Arts Council) are managing around it, but obviously the preference would be to get back to full capacity as soon as possible,” Fowler said.
Plans call for addressing several key areas of concern in the roof and ceiling, Fowler said.
To reduce the load on the roof, the engineer recommended that a section of tar and gravel be removed and replaced with a rubber roof, Fowler said.
Select trusses and beams also need to be brought up to modern code to support 45 pounds per square foot of load, as some beams are stressed by 200 percent, Fowler said.
The stage floor also needs some work, including being reinforced to support 100 pounds per square foot under the floor, Fowler said.
And if the work is approved and the roof is replaced, it is recommended that insulation be installed, Fowler said. This would produce a potential energy savings.
“Essentially, we are seeking to be compliant with New Hampshire Energy Code,” Fowler said.
The cost estimate for the work ranges from around $125,000 to $150,000. If the project is approved, the town could proceed with a bid in May, Fowler said.
Councilors didn’t take any action on the matter.