steams along
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — Saying the project has “progressed quite rapidly,” Downes Construction project manager Tom Sheard set a target date of Aug. 18 for completion of the new Municipal Complex. Not only is it on time, but it is still under budget.
Mayor Barney Seney said of Sheard “he really saved the town a hell of a lot of money” on the project. He went on to thank Sheard, who is retiring next week. It was Sheard’s last tour of the project with town officials and building committee members.
As far as on time, Sheard said that two sub-contractors who were lagging “really stepped up to the plate” and got back on track. The contractor responsible for the grand staircase at the entrance of the Town Hall portion of the complex now has the steel in place. Sheard said the HVAC contractor “doubled its crew” and caught up.
The brickwork for the Town Hall section of the building is complete, replete with dots and dashes of black brick against the red brick base. Sheard said the brickwork on the library section should be done by the end of next week.
In the library section the two-story glass outer wall will be going in shortly.
Ceilings are being closed in and some finish painting is already started. “It’s been a fabulous couple of weeks,” Sheard said.
In the long main hallway on the first floor a rail is being added to hang artwork. Karen Osbrey, chair of the building committee and the Putnam Arts Council, said she has already told council members the display wall is in need of local artists’ work.
A couple speed bumps are being addressed: One small section of the windows was incorrect and there is plywood in that section, waiting for the replacement glass. In addition, rainwater drained underground into some “voids” left by long-gone structures. As a result, the lawn in front of the main entrance sank a bit. Sheard said they dug out the dirt, stabilized the area, and “while we were at it” regraded the area.
The Aspinock House has been demolished and the cellar hole is being filled. Sheard said there is a bit more filling and compacting to do there and then the two entrances and one exit off School Street will be created. He said that probably won’t be until closer to summer; however, they may put a “binder coat” there in the interim. In mid-summer, he added, the entrances/exit will be finished with striping, etc.


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