The 90-day delay in the Town Hall demolition, instituted following the unanimous decision of the Historical Review Committee, was built into the Building Committee's timeline, according to its chairman, Michael Avgerinos.
On Dec. 20, the Historical Review Committee unanimously decided that the building "is of historical, artistic or cultural significance to the Town of New Canaan," and so its demolition should be delayed according to provisions of the Town Code.
"The Charter, which governs the work and decisions of the historical committee, says that in the case historical and architectural values are associated with the building, then we must apply the delay," said committee member Laszlo Papp, a retired architect.
The 90-day delay is retroactive to the date the demolition application was filed, which, according to Avgerinos, was in November. He said the building committee had anticipated the delay and built it into the schedule.
"We had allowed ourselves a three-month period that ends sometime in February. So that was our plan in the beginning, in case we had to deal with any issues, and we based our whole schedule on that," he said.
He also said that the Building Committee and contractors had scheduled to do other necessary work inside the building during the 90-day period, such as removing items before the walls and ceiling come down.
"We are going to remove valuables from the building like murals and plaques, elements that have a historical value and we will reuse them and replicate some of them. This process of removing them properly and storing them properly, and (of) removing lead paint and asbestos, that is not considered demolition."
Avgerinos said the preliminary plan is to have the demolition begin in late February and end in April. In March, the building committee will conduct a public meeting at which residents can have an input on several drawings and plans that will be provided by the architects. Once one is chosen, the committee will seek construction bids in May, choose one in June, and begin work on the roughly $14 million project in July, he said.
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