Saturday, September 25, 2010

City Begins Multi-Year Project to Restore City Hall Exterior and Grounds

Photo of City HallFredericton (September 13, 2010) – City Hall, a 134-year old brick and stone, iconic Fredericton landmark is starting to show its age and will be getting a facelift.

City Council today awarded an $86,252 contract to begin restoration work to Jones Masonry Ltd. The Harvey, N.B. company was the lowest bidder on the first phase of an expected three or four year project that will begin with work on the northern side or rear of City Hall.

Inspections of the exterior of City Hall by Halifax, N.S. company Masontech Inc., and PJ Materials Consultants Ltd, from Guelph, Ontario confirmed the building’s brick and sandstone masonry is deteriorating and in need of repair.

“The experts said the repairs should be carried out as soon as possible to prevent further accelerated deterioration,” said Mayor Brad Woodside. “This will be a three or four-year project that will be done in phases and the first phase will be completed this year.”

Jones Masonry specializes in restoring historic buildings and will be using complementary historic techniques in its repair work to maintain the historic nature of the building. The company is currently renovating the Provincial Legislative Building and voluntarily repaired broken granite cross on the New Brunswick Provincial Cenotaph in Fredericton last year. Future phases of work will be tendered separately.

Work in the first phase includes:

  • cutting out selected joints and installing stainless steel reinforcing rods; cutting out sandstone building trim joints and sealing them with a special joint sealant
  • cutting out and replacing mortar previously used with a heritage repair mortar
  • cutting out and repointing cracked and deteriorated mortared joints of the primary brick masonry and the ashlar coursed sandstone masonry units within the foundation wall using a heritage repointing mortar
  • chasing cracked brick and building trim units and repairing them using a heritage repair mortar; installing stainless steel masonry ties across cracked sections of brick and/or stone masonry
  • tooling damaged building trim units to remove loosely attached fragments and restore a uniform appearance to blend with the adjacent material, and
  • cutting out the caulking within all window frame perimeter joints at their junctions with the masonry, repairing deteriorated woodwork, re-glazing cracked or broken glass, preparing and repainting window woodwork and caulking window frame perimeter joints using an elastomeric joint sealant.

The City will be applying for federal government funding through Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program to help defray some of the cost of the estimated $1-million restoration project. Fredericton City Hall, the Maritime’s oldest City Hall still in continuous use, was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984.

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