Restoration work on Old Town Hall in Hooksett continues
HOOKSETT — Work to restore the Old Town Hall is moving along.
Right now, the windows on the main hall are being replaced to bring the exterior back to the 1889 modifications. Workers have removed the fire escape and door, the brick infill and 1961-era windows.
The work is being done by Milestone Engineering and Construction, Inc. out of Concord and is expected to last several weeks.
Built in 1828, the building has been empty for the last decade after the town offices were moved to their current 35 S. Main St. home.
The building has served a laundry list of uses during its lifetime. It has housed the town offices, police department, a school, a court, a jail, and a theater, as well as events like town meetings, weddings and receptions.
Work has been underway for about half a decade. Town Administrator Dean Shankle said the project was something he wanted to do when he started the job. He and the other members of the Town Hall Preservation Committee are heading the effort.
Progress has been made on some of the checklist items.
“The inside’s basically all cleaned out,” Shankle said.
The second floor has been removed to open up the space.
“You can see the tin ceiling now,” Shankle said.
The committee met recently to discuss the next steps they want to take.
“One of the next things we need to do is level the floors,” Shankle said.
Along with that, another big priority is finding adequate heating for the building, he said.
The goal is to have the work done by 2022 for the town’s 200th anniversary.
“We’re still moving towards that,” he said. “...I think we’re in a good place.”
Funding for the restoration comes from state grants and from the building maintenance line of the town budget.
Shankle said they are trying to keep the cost spread out by tackling a bit each time. A warrant article was proposed in the past to do all the upgrade work at once, but failed, Shankle said.
The hope is to have the space available for resident use for weddings or other types of events, once completed.