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Architectural Firm Approved for Upton Town Hall Renovation

Upton Town Hall

The Upton Town Hall Renovation Committee continues to make progress toward the refurbishment of the Town Hall. During an October 11 Board of Selectmen's meeting, the architectural firm of McGinley Kalsow & Associates out of Somerville was approved by the Board to provide the schematic designs for the project. Town Hall Renovation Committee Chair Kelly McElreath and member Steve Rakitin discussed their process to recommend the firm with the Board.

According to McElreath, the interview process began when Committee members put out a Request for Proposal concerning the project to which 14 firms responded and attended a mandatory meeting and walk through of the Town Hall. Of those firms, nine submitted RFPs of which four were interviewed. According to McElreath, McGinley Kalsow was the top choice based on their previous work with other Town Hall projects and the references that were contacted. "I think it will be a great partnership," said Selectman James Brochu. "We're looking forward to moving on with the process."

During the May Annual Town Meeting, voters approved $75,000 to be put toward the costs for the schematic designs. McGinley Kalsow brought the project in for $74, 850. Schematic design work will involve architectural services; structural engineering; mechanical, electrical, and fire protection; cost estimating; landscape architecture; civil engineering; and other expenses such as asbestos testing.

Another concern discussed that evening was the Massachusetts Historical Commission's restriction placed on the Town Hall. In 1998, Upton received a grant from the Commission to restore the building's roof. Guidelines stipulated that once the grant monies were awarded, the Historical Commission must give its permission before any restorations are performed on the Town Hall. McElreath stated that associates of McGinley Kalsow were aware of the restriction and that they have a good relationship with the Historical Commission.

The schematic designs are scheduled to be completed sometime in December or January.

"Every journey has to start with the first step and we're into the second step and that's great," said Selectmen Chair Robert Fleming.

Once the restoration project is complete, the Town Hall will be more energy efficient and a number of town offices will be housed there. In addition, the building will be handicapped accessible.

That evening the Board also approved two appointments to the Town Hall Renovation Committee. Michelle Goodwin was reappointed after stepping down several months back and Mike Howell was newly appointed. With the two additional members, the Committee now stands at five members.

"That's good. They've got a lot of work ahead of them," said Town Manager Blythe Robinson.

Now that things are moving along, the Committee plans to continue to report back to the Board often to keep them updated with the progress of the renovations.


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