The Rockingham Free Public Library in Bellows Falls. (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer)
The Rockingham Free Public Library in Bellows Falls. (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer)
Saturday February 23, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- Though typically open during its $2.9 million renovation, the Rockingham Free Public Library will be closed for three days next week for spray foam installation.

The library will remain locked from Monday through Wednesday to accommodate the work that must be done. It will reopen at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Janice Mitchell-Love, chairwoman of the library's board of trustees, said the building will be closed because the fumes could be dangerous to patrons and staff members.

Assistant Librarian Ellen Allman said a curbside bookdrop is available for library materials, and patrons will not be charged fines or late fees for being unable to return library materials during the closure.

She said library users may access the catalog, request materials and submit reference questions through the library's website, rockinghamlibrary.org. Librarians will also be available to answer questions through the library's Facebook profile, Twitter account (@RockinghamFree) and Instant Messenger account.

Engelberth Construction Inc. was hired by the town to "button up" the library after the Rockingham Selectboard terminated its contract with the initial general contractor, Baybutt Construction Corp. The renovation project ran into issues last year when sub-contractors, hired by Baybutt, walked off the job and refused to continue, claiming Baybutt had not paid them for the work they had done.


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The Selectboard voted on Thursday, Jan. 10, to issue a notice of default and terminate its contract with Baybutt, one day after the Keene, N.H.-based company lost a contract with the state of Vermont. The board also decided to authorize Chairman Tom MacPhee to sign the letter that was to be faxed to the general contractor that night. Baybutt had been chosen by the library's board of trustees to completely renovate the building, but its owner -- Frederick L. Baybutt -- declared recently personal bankruptcy.

The library trustees voted on Tuesday, Jan. 15, to use Engelberth to close in the building's roof and walls and to make sure the structure is reasonably weathertight.

Mitchell-Love said he is unsure if Engelberth will be doing the stray foam installation or if a sub-contractor has been hired. Project Manager Brendan Jones declined to comment and referred the Reformer to Municipal Manager Tim Cullenen, who could not be reached for comment Friday.

Mitchell-Love mentioned, however, the slate roof is almost finished, the plywood roof should be done in time for Saturday's snowstorm and the buildings rafters are going up on the addition.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.