Tyler House, municipal building improvements on list of proposed Groton City projects

Groton — The city is proposing to refurbish restrooms and replace windows at the Tyler House at Eastern Point Beach, make improvements to the Municipal Building, and repave the front parking lot of the fire station on Broad Street.

The proposed capital projects, which were outlined at a public hearing last week, will go before residents for authorization at a freeman's meeting that will be scheduled at a later date.

Tyler House

Parks and Recreation Director Mary Hill said that two years ago, the city replaced decking and some of the windows at the Tyler House and is proposing to finish the project by replacing 34 more windows, the majority on the upper floors.

The city also is proposing to renovate the building's restroom facilities, including replacing stalls and entry doors with ones made of a composite material to avoid rusting, as they are exposed to salt air, Hill and Mayor Keith Hedrick said. The project also will include some new flooring and painting of the facilities, as well as painting the hallway leading into the bathrooms and office space, Hill said.

Municipal Building

City Public Works Director Tim Umrysz said the city is looking to replace the concrete on the front landing of the Municipal Building, and, as part of that project, install a new heating system inside the concrete. The system would have three zones that would be controlled by a thermostat and could be set to go on or off at certain temperatures.

Hedrick said the rationale for the heating system, which would melt snow and ice, is that salt and other substitute materials have corroded the base of the doors and entryways to the building.

The department also would like to replace windows around three sides of the building, as well as the front entrance, where salt has corroded the aluminum thresholds, Umrysz said. Most of the back windows already have been replaced.

Asbestos abatement in the communications room is another proposed project, Building and Zoning Official Carlton Smith said.

Police Chief Michael Spellman and Capt. Erick Jenkins outlined a proposal to improve the men's, women's and sergeants' locker rooms and install new, larger lockers and ensure the men's and women's facilities are truly equal. 

Jenkins pointed to issues with the existing rooms, including a photo showing three 18-by-24-inch lockers in the men's room, with one locker that has an intact latch, the other with a repair to a broken latch and one with a missing latch. The women's locker room has 12-by-12-inch lockers, and female officers themselves brought in some repurposed 18-by-18-inch lockers to get more room.

In the sergeants' locker room, suits for the dive group are stored above the lockers; the project would allow the department to properly store its equipment, Spellman and Jenkins said.

Spellman said the project would help ensure equipment that is modernizing the department can last longer. It also could help with recruitment at a time when departments are competing for personnel and fewer and fewer people are applying to become a police officer.

In addition, the project would enhance the value of the Municipal Building, Spellman said.

Fire station

City of Groton Fire Department Chief Robert Tompkins outlined a proposed project to repave the front parking lot and ramp at the Co. 1 station on Broad Street and also work on the thresholds on the two main bays, which are breaking down. The parking lot and front area haven't been paved in more than 20 years, he said.

At the hearing, residents and city councilors asked questions about the project. Residents' comments included that they were in favor of completing the Tyler House project or saw the need for the locker room project.

The projects mostly would be paid for through repurposed bond money originally for the Colonel Ledyard School, Hedrick said. The city is estimating it would use approximately $500,000 to $600,000 of repurposed bonding for the projects, Finance Director Ron Yuhas said.

The city has municipal grant-in-aid money from the state that it has set aside and plans to use to supplement the windows and doors project, Yuhas and Hedrick said.

Those figures are just estimates, as the city will be obtaining final price tags, Hedrick said.

k.drelich@theday.com

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