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After 2018 lightning strike, first Saratoga Springs City Hall repair contracts awarded

After 2018 lightning strike, first Saratoga Springs City Hall repair contracts awarded

Historic City Hall damaged by fire and water
After 2018 lightning strike, first Saratoga Springs City Hall repair contracts awarded
Saratoga Springs City Hall was damaged in summer 2018.
Photographer: Erica Miller

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Permanent repairs to lightning-damaged Saratoga Springs City Hall will begin soon.

The City Council on Tuesday awarded the general construction and air-handling system contracts for the roughly $10 million project, and is expected to award the plumbing and mechanical system contracts at the July 2 council meeting.

MLB Construction Services of Malta was awarded the general construction bid at a price of $3,475,000, while the heating-air conditioning-ventilation contract was awarded to Collett Mechanical of Latham for $1.85 million. Both were the lowest bidders for the work, city officials said.

The contracts will call for completion of repairs to the ground and first floors by Dec. 31, and repairs and renovations to the second and third floors by April 2020, city Public Works Commissioner Anthony "Skip" Scirocco said.

"It's hard to believe that only ten months have passed since the Aug. 17 lightning strike and that we are ready to begin the construction process," Scirocco said. "It has taken a tremendous amount of work by city staff, and cooperation."

City Hall was closed shortly after the August 2018 lightning strike on the third floor, which resulted in a small fire and significant water damage. City government operations were moved to the city Recreation Center on Vanderbilt Street, and the city is using the building's closure as a chance to extensively update the building's plumbing, heating and other internal systems. The last extensive building update was in 1934.

The historic building at Broadway and Lake Avenue was built in about 1871.

The completion of the ground and first floors will allow most city government offices to return to the building. The second-floor work will include significant renovations so City Court can accommodate a second judge. A music hall and meeting space will remain on the third floor.

Scirocco said officials also want to return the Recreation Center to community recreational use. Much of city government is being run from what is normally a gymnasium.

General construction has been held up since late winter while asbestos was being removed from the City Hall.

The work includes a new heating and cooling system, court offices, ADA-compliant elevator, and additional public meeting spaces, along with information technology and security enhancements. Electrical, plumbing, heating, and sound improvements are also planned, but changes to the building's Italian Renaissance Victorian exterior will be minimal.

A public hearing on financing for the project will be held at the July 2 council meeting. Scirocco said a combination of insurance, borrowing and reserves will cover the costs.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086[email protected] or @gazettesteveon Twitter.

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