Town Hall Restoration Committee – November 08, 2011
The mission of the Town Hall Restoration Committee is to restore the Town Hall to a functional building for municipal services and community use. The best investment for the town is to modernize the building to provide for the town’s present needs, as cost effectively as possible, so that it can continue to serve Bradford for many years to come, consistent with its historical character.
The 1797 Town Hall is Bradford’s most valuable property asset. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1863 the “meeting house” was moved from Center Bradford and reconstructed in its present location at 75 W. Main Street. The citizens then, as now, valued the Town Hall and its central role as an architecturally distinctive and functional community cornerstone.
The well-attended Bradford Town Forum held November 6, 2010, polled the citizens with voting results supporting Town Hall as a viable space for town functions. Although the building was not originally built for office space, that is what the town’s current and future needs are, and with a well-designed space, the Town Hall will be a functional and economic asset once again.
Town Hall Restoration Committee welcomes the opportunity to review previous research, documents and studies to develop a plan for the restoration of the building. The Committee will reach out to others in the community and professionals for advice. The Committee will research grants that might offset the cost to the town of items such as universal barrier-free access, fire extinguishing systems, and energy efficiency. If the Committee decides it is appropriate, we will move forward with the preparation of a bond warrant article for town meeting. The Committee will report to the Selectmen on a regular basis.
Statement of Significance from the National Register of Historical Places Inventory Form – September, 1980
The Bradford Town Hall is an important element to town life. It has long been the focus of community and government activities, and continues as such in a time when many town halls in New Hampshire are passed over for active use. In Bradford the town hall still serves as a, meeting place for municipal and volunteer boards and organizations of all kinds.
The town hall is a focal visually as well. It is a substantial structure which fits nicely with the character of the town. The structure blends well with. the materials, scale, and massing of the surrounding neighborhoods, with their predominantly frame buildings, in addition, it exemplifies vernacular public buildings in New Hampshire rural communities which combine institutional scale with domestic detail.
Respectfully submitted, Eileen Kelly
Eileen Kelly, Chair
John Greenwood, Vice Chair
Marge Cilley, Secretary
George Cilley, Marcia Keller, Dick Keller, Michele Halsted, Beth Rodd, Audrey V. Sylvester, Caryl Walker, Phyllis Wilcox, Sandra Wright, Andrew Pinard
BRADFORD TOWN HALL RESTORATION
Preserving Bradford’s Past ~ Building Bradford’s Future
Town Hall Restoration Committee ~ Mission Statement
The mission of the Town Hall Restoration Committee is to restore the Town Hall to a functional building for municipal services and community use. The best investment for the town is to modernize the building to provide for the town’s present needs, as cost effectively as possible, so that it can continue to serve Bradford for many years to come, consistent with its historical character. ~ November 2011
RESTORATION FULFILLS BRADFORD’S NEEDS
- A restoration and renovation of Town Hall will provide for municipal offices & meeting space, and will significantly increase necessary storage.
- Use of Bradford’s Community Center was only a temporary measure.
- Provides a safe, healthy & secure working environment for town employees.
- Our restored and renovated Town Hall will be a versatile building, able to perform many different functions for the town and residents.
- Restores our Town Hall which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
GOOD FOR BRADFORD’S ECONOMY
- It has always been a priority of the THRC to use qualified local workers, which is good for Bradford’s economy.
- Town Hall has the highest valuation of any town-owned property at $735,700.
- Rebuilding preserves and increases the value of the building for town and taxpayers.
- Improving Main Street, making Bradford better for prospective homebuyers and businesses.
- The total cost of the project, listed in the warrant article is One Million Four Hundred Sixty Six Thousand Dollars ($1,466,000);
- The amount requested for the bond is One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,300,000.00);
- The balance of the total cost will come from grants and donations as raised by the Town Hall Restoration Committee.
- See an increase in interest rates.
- See an increase in construction costs.
- Allow the building to further deteriorate.
- An unattractive Main Street will lead a decrease in Bradford property values.
- Town will need to continue to spend money on an unoccupied building: insurance, electricity (alarm system), heating (damage without).
- Jeopardize continued use of Community Center for Town Office.
- Loss of this historic treasure that has served this town so well would be unconscionable.
- It is still not too late to obtain low interest rates which are predicted to increase in the near future.
- Construction costs are predicted to increase 7 to 12 % over the next year.
- Construction of an equivalent town hall building would cost much more than the plan presented.
- Not renovating means the building remains vacant and loses value to deterioration or damage.
- We will pass our iconic Town Hall along to future generations.
THE TOWN HALL RENOVATION PLAN INCLUDES:
- Preservation of the historical structure and architectural features of the building.
- New foundation at rear of building to eliminate mold, structural, and moisture issues, while providing clean and dry storage for town documents.
- New systems including electrical, mechanical, well, septic, fire suppression and alarm systems.
- Interior construction and finishing including new and expanded first floor offices, meeting rooms, lavatories, storage, and egress stairs.
- New insulation and energy retrofit, window restoration and storm windows, new Asphalt roofing.
- Hazardous material abatement.
- A generator sufficient to power the fire pump and other needs of the building.
Bradford’s Elected Officials Support
- The Bradford Selectmen have endorsed the Town Hall Restoration Plan with a unanimous 3-0 vote.
- The Bradford Budget Committee has recommended the warrant article for the Town Hall Restoration by a unanimous 7-0 vote.
- The Bradford Planning Board voted unanimously to support the Town Hall Restoration Plan.
Functions for a restored Town Hall: Town Voting Place, Town Meeting, Candidate Forums, Theater, Music Performances, Dances, Wedding Receptions, Bridal & Baby Showers, Anniversary Celebrations, Children’s Theater & Summer Activities, Films, Graduation Ceremonies, Square Dancing, Lectures, Art Shows and many other Cultural & Civic Events.