Woodstock to install sprinkler system at Town Hall

A so-called flow test has determined that the water supply to Town Hall is sufficient to support a sprinkler system for fire protection, clearing the way for the installation of such a system in the 75-year-old building at 76 Tinker Street, which is in the early stages of a comprehensive renovation.

The town will solicit bids for the design of the sprinkler system, which will likely be installed by the plumbing contractor for the renovation project, Dutchess Mechanical, Inc. The sprinkler will serve the building’s main room, also known as the community room or multipurpose room. The cost of the system is unknown at this time, “but will probably be in the low-to-medium range,” said Woodstock supervisor Jeremy Wilber, who previously offered a ballpark estimate of $50,000.

The town accepted contractors’ bids totaling slightly less than $1.1 million for the renovation and arranged financing through the subsequent sale of a $1.25 million bond anticipation note (BAN). According to a preliminary analysis by councilman Ken Panza, the project has incurred nearly $33,000 in various unexpected costs, not including the sprinkler system, since the construction contracts were awarded. Despite the cost overruns, the town foresees no need for additional borrowing to supplement the BAN sale and funds available in reserve accounts.


Reports by the project’s clerk of the works, Don Snyder, who is overseeing the renovation on behalf of the town, suggest that the state building code did not require a sprinkler system at the outset of the design process for the renovation, following a 2007 referendum in which voters approved bonding for the project. As a result, the final plan by the project’s engineer, Novus Engineering, did not include a sprinkler.

In the course of reviewing the application for a building permit for the project, however, the town Building Department determined that the state code had changed and a sprinkler would be required unless the water supply could not support one. The ensuing flow test, conducted this week, found that the supply from a nearby hydrant and from two water-sewer lines to Town Hall was sufficient.

In separate recent interviews, Wilber and councilman Bill McKenna stated that the addition of the sprinkler to the renovation plan would not delay other work on the project. The sprinkler installation would begin with the placement of a dedicated line from the water source, in the southwest corner of the building, to the site of the sprinkler, in the ceiling of the main room. Work on other elements of the renovation would proceed as planned, with the connection of the sprinkler’s water line to be established at a later date.

Asbestos abatement
Meanwhile, the removal of asbestos from the building, along with the “encapsulation” of lead paint, is under way, Wilber reported. According to the latest monitoring reports, said the supervisor, the work is proceeding safely, with no escape of asbestos into the environment. The removal, or abatement, includes a newly discovered pocket of asbestos, in the form of an air duct wrapped with approximately 3 square feet of asbestos tape, in the building’s crawlspace. Neither the inspection that revealed the presence of asbestos in the crawlspace, nor the work required to remove it, will result in any additional cost to the town.

Wilber said that he expected the asbestos abatement to be completed by the end of this week, whereupon demolition work will begin, with construction to follow.