Cohasset Town Hall, a 155-year-old building, is littered with safety problems—there is no fire suppression system and the fire alarm system is inadequate. When the historic building was renovated in the 1920’s, steel trusses were used but the trusses are prohibiting electrical and air conditioning upgrades.
A 2008 feasibility study looked into rehabilitating Cohasset Town Hall. Cohasset’s Director of Project Management and Planning, Brian Joyce, says the town was left with two options, “Scheme A would keep it as is, offices upstairs and the auditorium downstairs, or Scheme B which would reverse the spatial arrangement back to what it was before 1929, put the auditorium back upstairs and then offices downstairs.”
Joyce went before the town’s Community Preservation Committee Monday night and asked for $75,000 to fund an engineering design for the project. The CPC can fund historically significant projects and according to Joyce, besides the building’s old age, historic architectural features are hidden behind walls and ceiling panels.
“We need to as a community see what we value as historical. When we rehab the building, do we want to just make it safe or do we want to rehab it with an historical aspect to it?,” explains Joyce
The CPC said they want to take a fresh look at the Cohasset Town Hall project. Rather than focusing on a rehabilitation project they would also like options for a complete remodel.
Funds for an engineering design, which will produce multiple new options, were recommended for approval by the CPC. Cohasset voters will get the last say during Special Town Meeting on Monday, December 10th.