Council to discuss repairs to Adams Memorial BuildingBy HUNTER McGEE
Union Leader Correspondent
March 03. 2014 7:13PM
DERRY — The Town Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday night on a proposed $130,000 supplemental budget appropriation for repairs to the Adams Memorial Building.
The regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 on the third floor of the Derry Municipal Center.
The Adams Memorial Building will need about $150,000 in ceiling and roof work that prompted the closing of the balcony. The town already has $20,000 available for the project as part of the current budget, according to Public Works officials.
The Adams Memorial Building houses the Opera House, along with the Greater Derry–Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Derry Housing Authority and town history museum.
A structural review of the building was completed in September and revealed some major overstressing of beams, said Michael Fowler, Public Works director. There was so much stress being placed on the beams that the balcony had to be closed, Fowler said.
Closing the balcony has reduced the capacity from about 375 patrons to 275, Fowler said.
The town has had discussions with the Derry Arts Council since the closure of the balcony.
"As I understand it, they are managing around it, but obviously the preference would be 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 is recommending 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.If councilors approve the Adams Memorial Building project, it could be bid out in mid-May, Fowler said.The work is separate from a painting and repair project for the Derry Opera House. Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council recently voted to approve a $20,000 grant earmarked for painting and plaster repairs to the Opera House. The funds will go to the Greater Derry Arts Council.
Plans call for work on the Opera House to start at the beginning of August, when there aren't any events scheduled. If all goes as planned, the project could be completed by the end of August, Fowler said.