Town building project will soon accept bids


RUMFORD – The long-anticipated renovation of the nearly century-old Municipal Building is likely to start in September.

The Building Committee earlier this week decided to go out to bid on the estimated $828,000 renovation project that includes bringing the 1916 building up to code as required by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

A special meeting has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, to open the bids and choose a general contractor, Town Manager Jim Doar said.

The town recently received money for the project from the Maine Bond Bank, Doar said. The town will repay the 5 percent loan over a five-year period.

In the interim, a pre-bid conference with potential contractors will be held at the Municipal Building on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Work is scheduled to begin in September, and a completion date was set for June 1.

Voters approved borrowing the money to complete the project last year. Since an inspection by the state fire marshal more than a year ago, a 49-person limit was set for the upstairs auditorium because of the lack of an exit.

The completed project will also meet safety, handicapped-accessibility and other codes.

Construction of a new exterior 16-by-33-foot tower along the right rear portion of the building will accommodate a code-approved exit from the auditorium, as well as provide a landing.

Other changes include enclosure of the main entrance at the winged staircase into the auditorium, construction of three handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and installation of a fire alarm system and emergency lighting.

Doar said he believes neither the court room nor the municipal offices, located on the main floor, will be moved during the construction project.

“Everyone is pretty excited about the project,” he said.

Architect Jim Reuter of the Bethel firm of Smith Reuter Lull will likely take another walk-through before the pre-bid conference, added Doar.