In 2011 the building was purchased, 32 trees were removed from the lot, the basement was cleared out and the structural damage was analyzed and stabilized. In 2012 a new addition was designed to house an interior staircase, accessible lift and bathroom. The building was lifted; the crumbling brick foundation removed and new foundation walls were poured. Then the old church was re-set on the new foundation.
An extensive drainage system was installed along with underground electrical service and a new well drilled. After laying down a low voltage electric heat system, a new concrete floor was poured for the lower level. The addition was built, sided and roofed with custom windows installed.
Gypsum board was hung on the lower level, plumbing roughed and finished, electrical work was completed, walls were insulated, fixtures and cabinets for the bathrooms and kitchen were installed, and the interior was painted. In addition the stone steps/walls were built for the Walnut Street entrance. The septic system, water tank, well pump and propane tank were all installed. On the main floor work included storm windows, insulation in the addition, installing the potbelly stove and some exterior pai
In January of 2015 an occupancy permit was received for the lower level, and that portion of the building was open to the community. That year over 6,000 people enjoyed coffee and tea, WiFi, playgroups and community events, while work continued on the main floor, grounds and building exterior. The addition was insulated, boarded and painted. The front vestibule was stripped of horsehair plaster and lathing and the north side of the building was prepped, primed and painted.
The woodwork in the main hall and vestibule was restored, walls were repaired, and cellulose insulation was blown in the walls and above the ceiling. The Garaventa accessible lift was installed. The initial paint coat on the building's exterior was completed.
Work included installing all the repaired/refurbished original windows, installing wood trim and carpet in the addition, cleaning and shellacking the tin ceiling, painting the walls, cleaning and repairing the wainscoting/wood trim, sanding and tung oiling the floor, purchasing and installing custom main entrance doors, finishing the electrical including installing light fixtures, building the exterior stairs and iron railings.
A GRAND OPENING was held on October 21, 2017.
Dan Barton of Maugel Architects, Inc.
Tim Wohlhueter of Squaw Hollow
Restoration Inc., Wales MA
Tom Doerr of Doerr Construction, Berlin MA
John Guerard of JPG Construction,
David Ross, Dan Wolfe and Jesse Johnson of David E. Ross Associates, Ayer MA
Skip and Larry Sawyer of Skip Sawyer and Sons, Berlin MA
Al Roseberry of RA Plumbing and Heating, Berlin MA
Mike Brown Plumbing, Berlin MA
Rick Marshall, Mike O'Sullivan, James Perez of
RJ Marshall Electric, Berlin MA
Mary Redington, "The Workbench" blog,
website management, Berlin MA
Martin Miller, photographer, Berlin MA
Keith Carville, 19 Carter logo and
design services, Berlin MA
In addition to this Project Team we are grateful to the 83 Business Partners that have contributed with construction materials, pro bono labor, and/or financial support.