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Huntington Town hall gets face-lift

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone in the town

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone in the town hall meeting room in Huntington on March 17, 2015. Credit: Ed Betz

The Huntington Town board room is getting a face-lift.

Starting this summer, the room where town board, zoning, planning and other meetings are held will get an upgrade, as will nearby rooms.

A renovation had been planned to start last year, but it was delayed to re-evaluate the plan. For the project, officials plan to use the town's trust and agency account, which has about $700,000.

Town officials said contractors recently found that asbestos abatement is needed under the town hall room floor, which will cost $100,000.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said the renovation is needed to address wear and tear, answer safety-related questions about the asbestos and update technology for the benefit of the public.

"At the same time, we will keep costs down to under the amount of money in the account that includes the yearly payments from Cablevision and Verizon, so we can minimize the impact on the budget."

The building was constructed early last century as Huntington High School, town officials said. It was used as such until the late 1950s, later became a junior high school and closed in the mid-1970s until the town bought the building for $1 and renovated before it reopened as Town Hall about four years later. That was the last time the three rooms were renovated.

As part of the project last year, the town board approved a contract with Hauppauge-based Young Equipment Sales for $28,500 for architectural and audio/visual design.

The town board voted 4 to 1 on March 10 to approve an increase in that contract by about $7,200 for the redesign and refurbishment of the town board suite of rooms. The board authorized moving about $3,600 each from the Cablevision and Verizon Government Access Television grants to the building improvements fund for the work.

Town board member Tracey Edwards recused herself because she works for Verizon.

Improvements include replacing the floor; rewiring for sound, TV, phone and network communications; new seating and carpeting; and increased seating capacity.

It also includes repairing and painting plaster work; replacing the dais (and adding a slight inward convex shape so board members can see one another and the audience) and the podium for those addressing the town board (with a network interface for electronic presentations primarily in connection with planning and zoning); an advanced lighting and auditorium speaker system and acoustical wall panels; an ADA compliant close-loop audio system for those with hearing disabilities; a digital projector system; and a retractable screen with TV input interface. to here

The project will also include improvements to room 114, town hall's primary conference room, and room 206, the TV studio and control room.


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