An engineering report warns that pieces of City Hall could fall off in a heavy enough wind.
The report by Kevin Smith of Marble Valley Engineering calls for barricades at the southeast corner of the building.
“He thought that if a strong wind from a certain direction, it could cause some bricks to fall off the building,” Public Works Commissioner Evan Pilachowski said.
Temporary repairs to keep that from happening are being looked at, though Pilachowski said he does not yet have cost estimates for that work.
“We would have some metallic stitching and some epoxy to hold everything together better,” Pilachowski said. “We’re still gathering some information for what would be the best product for the repairs and then we’ll have to wait until the weather cooperates.”
The report was commissioned so the city could gauge the seriousness of growing cracks in the newer portion of the 112-year-old building. Smith recommends repairs totaling $200,000, though Pilachowski said that will fix more than just the cracks.
“There’ll be additional support for the foundation, the roof will be repaired, there’s some dry rot in the original attic and there’s some structural steel that will be repainted,” Pilachowski said.
Pilachowski also said the $200,000 was a “very rough number” and that a more detailed analysis and design process could “substantially” refine the estimate.
The report goes in front of the Board of Aldermen tonight.
“My recommendation is to proceed with designs so we can have something ready for the next budget season to put on the ballot,” Pilachowski said.
The report found that cracks in the southwest corner were large enough for bugs to get into the walls, while cracks on the east wall were large enough to admit bats.
City Hall was built in 1901, with an addition in 1923 and major renovations in 2000.
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