FARMINGTON — Selectmen on Tuesday night approved using $20,000 from its allotment of the American Rescue Plan Act to determine the cost and scope of repairs for the Community Center.

In the late 1990s, a structural analysis of the roof determined it didn’t meet modern snow load requirements. A rubber membrane was installed to stop leaks, but nothing more was done due to the cost.

In July 2021, the board was told $79,530.51 of a $155,000 Center for Tech and Civic Life grant had to be returned because the roof would not support an HVAC system to heat, cool and ventilate the building.

In February 2022, selectmen approved using about $700,000 from the allotment for repairs. In October 2023, the second time bids were requested, offers from Bowman Brothers Construction of Newport for $2.46 million and Devoe Construction of Eagle Lake for $2.489 million were rejected.

Another round of bids was approved.

Last month, Matt Foster, director of Parks and Recreation, told the board that a company had estimated it would cost $1.7 million to replace the roof. It also gave a price of $900,000 to build a new roof over the existing one, plus or minus 20%, he said.


Since December, Foster has been working with Thaddeus Gabryszewski, vice president of Lincoln/Haney Engineering Associates in Brunswick.

Town Manager Erica LaCroix said company names shouldn’t be discussed yet, but theoretical numbers should be so the board could move forward on the next steps. “I think the numbers are very important at this point,” she said.

The company estimating $1.7 million to replace the roof noted that removing it carries a lot of risk, Foster said. “If there is a lot of rain, it’s just too much hazard for it being open.” In theory, he said, they might have to rebuild the entire community center if it was damaged by rain.

There are also issues with the heating system and brickwork damaged from chimney problems, he said.

Foster and Gabryszewski asked the company if other issues could be addressed at the same time.

“I think we can accomplish pretty much all of our problems, the significant ones anyway, for around $1.2 million with the plus or minus 20%,” Foster said.


The new plan is to look at the building overall, including the roof, heating system, brickwork and other issues, which will require different engineering plans to make sure it all goes properly, Foster said. He added that a construction service agreement could help with that.

That agreement, a construction management model, involves hiring a contractor before the drawings are finalized and working with the design firm to troubleshoot, Gabryszewski said. “Between the design firm and the contractor working together, you can get a pretty good idea of a very good path forward, a very cost-effective path forward.”

“There is an upfront cost for services to do this, but in my experience on actual projects the construction management model results in a better product, better budgets,” Gabryszewski said.

He estimated $5,000 to $10,000 for his company’s work and another $10,000 for the construction firm.

“We should look at the whole project,” Selectman Dennis O’Neil said. The roof issue has been kicked around for years. “It’s a no-brainer to pursue this path.”

Selectman Richard Morton asked about the time frame and if other companies had been approached.

Work would start as soon as funding is approved, Gabryszewski said. Several companies have been approached, some looked at it twice and declined and only one suggested construction management, he said.

In other business Joshua Bell was named chairman of the board, Matthew Smith as vice chairman and O’Neil as secretary.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.