WESTMORELAND, N.H. -- It’s been more than a year since a committee was formed to find ways to make improvements to the town hall.
Committee head Richard Schmidt said the group was created in September 2011 to try to come up with simple, low-budget ways to reinvigorate the building while maintaining, or perhaps enhancing, its historical significance and integrity. The committee has since compiled a list of safety/security, energy and general tasks it would like completed.
He said the committee is a very casual one and needs the volunteerism of hands-on citizens and craftsmen. He said there are no clear goals -- the committee simply wants to take care of as many projects as possible.
"We’re just going to hang in there and keep working on it," he said. "We don’t want to pressure people or burn people out."
He also said he would hesitate to refer to the work being done as "renovations." He said they are just improvements.
Schmidt said seven of the safety/security tasks have been met, and there are 16 more to go. He said the jobs already done include repairing an "Exit" sign, cleaning up the basement and removing all trees blocking the fire escape.
He said the town hall used to have just one thermal heating system and now boasts four heating zones, which means heat can be used as needed in the meeting room that is used about six hours a week. Schmidt said there are 23 projects left after checking off
According to Westmoreland’s website, an energy audit has been done and is a basis for energy conservation measures.
General tasks, Schmidt said, include insulating heating ducts, replacing drapes, removing moss from the building’s foundation and making a kitchen closet.
The town hall recently had its white paint job redone by Edson Painting (of West Chesterfield) for $19,000. Schmidt said the total came well under the budget of about $28,000.
Schmidt, who is by trade an engineer and dabbles in handyman work, said he has seen a tremendous amount of community teamwork, but he would like to see more.
"We need to draw more people in," he said.
The next thing to be tackled on the list is the repainting of the building’s tin ceilings. He said the paint, which is probably lead-based, is peeling and the ad hoc committee would like a painter to do the job.
The town hall was built in 1917 and was recently designated a National Historic Site, giving renewed interest to retaining its history.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.