As expected, the discourse surrounding the Friends latest boondoggle has gravitated back to the “parking” issue. You’ll recall that when the previous article failed three years ago, the newspaper declared, without offering a shred of evidence, that it was due to the “parking problem”.
The solution? Repave the parking lot. Never mind that they didn’t add any new spaces, they actually lost one.
But the whole issue is laughable. As if there are going to be regular crowds of hundreds of people using the place. More likely it will be underutilized and the average “crowd” will be a dozen people echoing around under the towering vaulted ceilings.
The only parking issue will be where to park the oil truck.
The electricity bill for Town Hall this year will come in at around $27 thousand, largely for heat, so with an efficient heating system, a programmable thermostat and insulation upgrades I’m sure we can do better than that!
I agree that an open air ceiling on the second floor would waste a considerable amount of energy, so what I would suggest to town officials, if the warrant article passes, is to keep the ceiling in place, insulate it, and install a number of skylights. An inexpensive lighting system in the attic could really light it up at night for visual enjoyment while still keeping the heat in.
Bob, if you think for a minute that the Friends would contemplate not opening up the ceiling, you are out of touch with both sides. My suggestion? Don’t use it in the winter.
The mechanical engineering firm hired by the Town Hall Restoration Committee estimated that the place would use 8,000 gallons of oil for heat. Air conditioning would be extra – a lot extra. The recommendations made by Building Science were limited by the restriction that the historic plaster and windows could not be altered. The only substantial recommendations were for an inch or so of foam behind some of the walls, and interior double pane storm windows, where the original plan called for exterior storms anyway. Bottom line is that the improvements in conductive heat loss for the added foam would not substantially reduce the overall heat loss of the building or the anticipated annual fuel use. Ventilation and air infiltration is the real issue and the building does not lend itself to air sealing without compromising the “historic” interior.
So if you want to use it for a Community Center, buy some stock in the Keystone pipeline.