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Old Town Hall project gets start date

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WADDINGTON — The old Town Hall could have handicapped access by the end of November.

The renovations are set to begin Sept. 9.

The town has accepted a bid from Continental Construction Co., Gouverneur, to begin construction. The company will build a ramp and install a chairlift and elevator in the basement of the old Town Hall, which will extend to the auditorium. The downstairs bathrooms will also be modified to be handicapped-accessible.

“Continental is currently doing construction on Pickens Hall in Heuvelton,” council member Robert J. Dalton said. “They know historic buildings and how they have to follow the state rules and regulations for those buildings.”

The building’s top floor contains a hall used primarily for weddings, concerts and private parties. The bottom floor houses the Waddington Neighborhood Center and Chamber of Commerce. Both floors are only accessible by stairs.

As the elevator will be in front on the ground floor, the chamber offices will move to the center basement space currently occupied by the neighborhood center. The neighborhood center will move permanently from the old Town Hall to the former Rescue Squad building, on Route 37, being leased by the town.

The project has a price tag of $146,800. It is funded by $70,000 from the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency and $76,800 from the town’s Waddington Hepburn Library and old Town Hall maintenance fund.

Installing a wheelchair lift is part of the town’s multi-stage project to improve the 130-year-old building’s accessibility.

“With this next project, we’re one step closer to utilizing the building more fully and making it more handicapped-accessible,” Mr. Dalton said. “The next step is to renovate the upstairs.”

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