Restoration work finally began on Marietta's 98-year-old National Guard Armory building this month with the installation of new energy-efficient windows and doors-the first of a still developing three-phase plan that will eventually include a new roof, front steps, electrical upgrades and an elevator for the facility.
Some city officials and supporters of the project held a small ceremony at the armory Tuesday morning.
"We thought it important to mark this occasion as the kickoff project for renovation of the armory building," said Jane Tumas-Serna, president of Armory Square, Inc.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Jane Tumas-Serna, president of Armory Square, Inc., looks over stacks of new energy-efficient windows Tuesday that are being installed during the first phase of the armory restoration project in Marietta.
The nonprofit 501 C3 organization includes members of the Friends of the Armory and Citizens Armory Preservation Society groups.
"We want to acknowledge that work has started on Phase 1 and that we're now beginning to talk about Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the project," said Tumas-Serna.
Mayor Joe Matthews said it was decided to do the project in phases because the city did not have enough secured funding to complete a full build-out of the facility at once.
At a glance
About Phase 1 of the Armory Square building renovation project:
- All old windows and doors are being replaced with 114 aluminum-clad wood windows and six hollow metal doors and frames.
- The units were manufactured by Exterior Restoration Specialists of Columbus to match the original armory windows and doors and meet standards of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.
- Work began the weekend of July 7 and will continue into August.
- Total cost of the first phase is $173,600.
- $122,785 of the cost is being reimbursed through a state Energy Efficiency Grant.
- The second phase of the project, including roofing and structural repairs is expected to cost $607,609.
- Tax-deductible contributions are also being accepted to support the project. Donations can be made to Armory Square, Inc., through the Marietta Community Foundation, 100 Putnam St., Marietta, 45750. Phone 373-3286.
Sources: Armory Square, Inc., City of Marietta, and Times research
"I would have liked to replace the roof first, but we were under a grant deadline for the doors and windows, so we're having those done now," he said.
A state Energy Efficiency Grant in the amount of $122,785 helped pay for the $173,600 first phase contract with Exterior Restoration Specialists of Columbus to replace the windows and doors with new units.
Matthews said the the roofing work will be part of the next phase.
During a meeting of city council's lands, buildings and parks committee Tuesday afternoon, city engineer Joe Tucker said the architect's estimate for the second phase work is approximately $607,629.
"That includes roof replacement, structural repairs, re-pointing of brickwork and repair of cornices," he said. "It does not include any electrical work."
The electrical upgrade and elevator installation is expected to be part of the project's third phase.
Tucker said the armory's front steps, which had to be removed last year, will also be rebuilt in conjunction with the second phase work, but the steps will be handled in a separate contract.
He said the city already had a previous agreement with Lang Masonry to construct the front steps at a cost of $38,000, and the company is still willing to do the work at that price if it can be done this year during warm weather.
"But the critical path to get things moving on the second phase is to approve Davis Architectural Group to do a revision on the scope of the project," Tucker said.
He added that narrowing the original scope of the armory project would save the city $20,750 in design costs.
Councilman Harley Noland, D-at large, who chairs the lands, buildings and parks committee, said he's glad to see the armory project moving forward.
He noted that some work on the project, including landscaping, a renovated parking lot and a canopy covering a portion of the sidewalk on the armory's south side, had already been completed in the last couple of years.
"But I'm happy to be standing in front of this building with new high-efficiency windows and doors," he said at the armory Tuesday morning.
Noland said the project is also a great way for the city to set an example of how to re-use its older buildings.
"A vital community needs to have a central hub facility and we need to continue working to keep a vital downtown and business district," he said.
Bob Newman, a longtime member of the Citizens Armory Preservation Society and Friends of the Armory, said seeing work finally under way on the armory building Tuesday had an emotional aspect for him.
"These windows and doors are what the original units must have looked like when the building was new," he said. "And this means so much to those who have supported the armory renovation all these years. These are really dedicated people. For them it's an act from the heart."
Jan Powell, executive director of WASCO, Inc., noted the agency will have a presence at Armory Square when the project is completed.
"This will provide jobs for our people with disabilities who can work here and feel part of the local community," she said. "We're just very excited that the project is finally under way."