A year after the Town Council approved a historic designation on the Old Thayer Public Library, work to preserve the historic structure has begun.
Phase I of the project includes the removal and replacement of the slate roof, which is approximately 140 years old. Special attention will be paid to the framing elements beneath the roof, a release said.
Additionally, crews will restore the copper finials, copper ridge, and caps of the hip roof; install new copper gutters and downspouts; and clean and repoint the exterior brick and stone masonry.
Bargmann Hendrie + Archtype Inc., a historical architectural firm, will provide oversight for the project, and will work with general contractor T. Cooney Inc and subcontracts to NER Construction Management, Inc., and Meadows Construction Company, LLC,
The town approved $233,000 in Community Preservation funds in July 2011 for the project, which is expected to cost approximately $218,000.
The additional money is in place to provide a cushion for unexpected expenditures.
The town will also receive a $45,000 reimbursement for the work from the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Mass Preservation Project Fund grant program.
Braintree initially asked for $100,000 in May 2011, but was only funded for half.
The state’s portion of the work must be completed by June 30 for the town to still be eligible for the funding.
According to Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan, the work is merely the first step to making the building usable, as well as preserving it for decades to come. The building still needs new doors, windows, handicap access, and interior work.
“This is the start of a long-term project that may take years to complete. In securing this initial funding we needed to get the exterior preservation started. The interior work is extensive and we are still working with Congressman [Steven] Lynch to secure some federal monies to restore the entire building,” Sullivan said.
The town is currently applying for a state grant for $43,000 to help fund the $86,000 project of replacing the doors and windows.
Phase III will take into account handicap accessibility.