DERRY — A major repair project on the balcony of the Adams Memorial Building starts today.
The building, at 29 W. Broadway, will need about $150,000 in ceiling and roof work that prompted the closing of the balcony in September. Town councilors in May approved a plan to pay for structural repairs to the facility.
Workers from the Aulson Co., in Methuen, Mass, are ready to start on the project, that should be completed by Aug. 26, said Public Works Director Michael Fowler.
“We are anxious to see that project getting kicked off,” Fowler said Friday.
The Adams Memorial Building houses the Opera House, along with the Greater Derry–Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Derry Housing Authority and town history museum.
The town had made prior plans for work on the Opera House to start at the beginning of August, when there aren’t any events scheduled, according to 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, Fowler said.
Closing the balcony has reduced the capacity from about 375 patrons to 275, Fowler said.
Plans call for addressing three key areas of concern in the roof, ceiling and stage, he said.
To reduce the load on the roof, the engineer recommends 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 in over the stage and balcony, Fowler said. The floor also needs some work, including being reinforced to support 100 pounds per square foot under the floor, Fowler said.
The stage floor also needs some work, including being reinforced to support 100 pounds per square foot under the floor, Fowler said.