WATERTOWN — The Town Hall Renovation Project at the Heminway Municipal Center has been underway for the past year. When renovations are complete, the Heminway Municipal Center will become the new Town Hall. Currently town government offices are scattered throughout Watertown. The town manager’s office is located on Main Street, while the town clerk’s office is located in the Old Town Hall on DeForest Street. The school superintendent’s office is located in the Munson House. Other town offices are at the Municipal Center or elsewhere.
The renovation project will transform and modernize the building.
All government offices will be present at one location, town meetings will be hosted there and it will store the town’s important files.
There is a lot of history behind the 80-year old building, having been the town’s high school, an elementary school, voting location and the home of town offices.
“It’s always a challenge reconstructing a building,” said Clerk of the Works Gary Martin. Walls have been torn down and new ones erected, new electrical work and ventilation has been installed and parts of the building have been updated to modern standards.
There is still work to do on the project, but the renovation is taking shape.
An extension is being added to the building, which will be the new office for the tax collector and town assessor.
The new town clerk’s office will have a large vault. The vault has been completed and will be fireproof to protect the town’s valuable documents and possessions.
All three floors of the building are being worked on at the same time as electrical work and new sheetrock is being installed.
The old columns are going to be completely replaced.
The original plan for the columns was to repair them, but after the committee and contractors viewed their actual state, it was agreed that they had to be fully replaced.
The $17,000 put aside to repair the columns will be used to dispose of the old ones and replace them with new ones.
The new columns will be made of a sturdier material and will have vents on the bottom to stop water from accumulating inside.
Town employees eagerly await the completion of the project.
“I can’t wait to see the building finished,” said Building Inspector Administrative Assistant Cindy Mauriello.
Town employees were moved into temporary office spaces in February.
The project is set to finish in the late summer or early fall.
There has been concern among residents about the fate of historical buildings like the Munson House and old Town Hall when they are vacated.
The fate of other government buildings, which will soon be empty, is unknown.
The Town Hall Annex will most likely be sold off.