Report outlines damages to Columbus Town Hall

COLUMBUS – Nearly a year after Columbus town residents passed a referendum to keep and preserve the former Columbus Town Hall, the 210-year-old building is now facing more uncertainty.

Since May, the old town hall on State Route 80 in the Town of Columbus has been vacant due to structural damages that make it unsafe for use, as deemed by building inspectors and engineers.

In September, the Columbus Town Board received an engineering report prepared by the Troy-based planning firm, The Chazen Companies. The document outlines structural damages that are visible and accessible, but excludes mechanical, electrical and plumbing assessments.

Findings conclude that the building is “in poor condition, and requires significant repairs in order to put the building back into service.” Engineers recommend upgrades to meet egress, fire, ADA and energy code guidelines; thus, the township ought to consider the cost benefit of repairing versus new construction.

The report outlines a number of safety issues, including a failed foundation on the building’s east side, a parking lot that drains water toward the outer walls, sag on the east side wall, poor insulating around the windows, and deteriorating floor beams, decks, railings and exterior paint.

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