Board seeks to fill cracks at City Hall
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | January 09,2013
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Monitors on the exterior of the southeast corner of Rutland City Hall keep track of cracks occurring throughout that portion of the building.
The Board of Aldermen voted Monday night to hire somebody to make sure City Hall doesn’t fall down.
Public Works Commissioner Evan Pilachowski said steadily worsening cracks ran along the walls in the addition to the building that houses the Department of Public Works and the Building and Zoning Department.
Pilachowski said he wanted to bring in a specialist to identify the cause of the cracks and a solution as well as draft a budget estimate for the solution. The board voted to hire Marble Valley Engineering, one of two bidders, for the job.
While there was no debate, the vote was close, with Aldermen Jon Kiernan, Charles Romeo, William Notte, Gary Donahue, Christopher Robinson and Tom DePoy voting yes.
“I believe the cracks originated — this is a nonprofessional structural opinion — there was a garage bay taken off City Hall,” Pilachowski said Tuesday. “I want to say in the ’90s, but I’m not sure exactly when.”
In the process, Pilachowski said, he believes some cross-bracing was also removed.
“It looks like the outside walls are bowing out,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s not going to cause a catastrophic failure.”
The roof is also being pulled away from the wall, according to Pilachowski
“Any time it rains now, it’s dripping water into the offices,” he said.
Pilachowski said DPW has been monitoring the cracks since 2004 and seen slow but steady movement.
“We’re talking a few millimeters over the course of those years, but it’s ongoing and steady enough that we want to have someone look at it,” he said.
Pilachowski said the issue is, as far as he knows, the only structural problem with City Hall.
Marble Valley, whose recent contracts include a similar study at Proctor High School, will be paid $110 an hour. The project is not to exceed $1,045 in time and materials.