Home Hall grand Mayor touts completion of repairs and improvements to City Hall after years of decline

Mayor touts completion of repairs and improvements to City Hall after years of decline


Notice of dangerous conditions in February 2015 at City Hall. (Photograph from the WHAV News file.)

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said years of decadence at Haverhill City Hall was now behind the city.

WHAV reported last August that a series of repairs and improvements were underway. These included the construction of a new $1.2 million retaining wall between the building and its parking lot on Main Street; repairing the exterior white terracotta of City Hall, including its ornamental columns and lenses at the main entrance at a cost of $430,000; and the installation of a new generator.

“Your City Hall has never looked better after a number of major and minor repairs and upgrades last summer! We are not waiting for a problem or a crisis. We are always planning ahead. ‘future,’ the mayor said on social media.

The construction complaints, however, began years ago with visitors stepping over duct tape holding together pieces of the 1973 building’s carpet and came to a head in 2015 when a piece of the stairwell of the third floor of the building collapsed.

City Hall third floor landing in 2015. (WHAV News file photo.)

The stairwell was declared “unsafe” at the time by then building inspector Richard Osborne. Officials said an area of ​​the third floor landing on the west side gave way, sending a piece of slate to the second floor, just missing someone. The linoleum tiles above the hole had been taped for years due to an uneven surface.

Fiorentini said he submitted his first five-year capital plan in 2006 and has updated it every five years since then to pay for improvements to schools, city hall, the public library, at the Citizen’s Center, police and fire stations and other public buildings, parks and recreation areas.

Old retaining wall behind Haverhill Town Hall. (Photograph by WHAV News.)

He said other improvements to City Hall include replacing the boiler and pump; replacement of five old and defective exterior doors with new steel doors, remote electronic locking and alarm mechanisms; new stair treads and linoleum tile landings in all four stairwells; repairs and replacements of windows and screens; repair, cleaning and repointing of the main staircase at the main entrance; replacement of auditorium light fixtures with energy efficient LED lighting; new Americans with Disabilities Act compliant Summer Street sidewalks and ramps; and more.

The building was originally constructed as Haverhill’s third grammar school in 1910. It was closed when a new grammar school was built on Monument Street, but served Amesbury High School and Northern Essex Community College until it was converted for use as a town hall in 1973.