“As a result of your work, we were able to preserve the historical essence of the building while creating a functional work environment… The end result is that our building, which had deteriorated through benign neglect, was transformed into a community asset that compliments the adjacent and recently renovated City Hall. In addition to a sound design and detailed contract documents, coordination among the three principal contractors and quality construction management was essential. …many of the difficulties inherent in municipal contracting were avoided. I am pleased to report that this project was completed on schedule and on budget. Change orders, inevitable when renovating an old structure, were minimal and were offset by cost savings that were made possible, in part, by your vigilance and foresight.”
Judith Hansen, Superintendent
Kingston Water Department
February 21, 2001
Optimus Architecture was retained by the Kingston Water Department to evaluate the feasibility of converting and restoring their Jansen Avenue facilities, a series of buildings and additions dating back to 1895. The Water Department, required to move out of their City Hall offices, had to find a new home. The Jansen Avenue facilities, which had been a horse barn, material and equipment storage, as well as the former City Hall boiler plant, was now needed for a new modern office and garage use. Could this be done, and done affordably?
Optimus prepared a feasibility study that reported on existing conditions, applicable codes, the new program, a schematic design, potential phases, a recommended budget, funding grants and next steps. Based on this study, the Kingston Water Department determined that restoring and adapting their historic property would best meet their needs with an investment in their own facilities, and cost no more than most other options.
Optimus developed a construction plan compatible with both the new modern uses and restoration of the historic materials and details. The original slate roof was replaced with new Vermont slate with built-in copper gutters and flashing. The rotted exterior wood soffits and trim were replaced. Deteriorated face brick was removed and restored with matching material. Exterior doorways were filled in with brick and blue stone to match, with new thermal multi-pane windows, installed throughout. Inside, a new stair, handicap bathrooms, offices, board room were all developed in the former rough unfinished barn interior. Oak flooring, carpets, light fixtures, wood trim and moldings, stair posts and railings, ceramic tile floors, interior doors and windows, and paint colors were all chosen to enhance the historic character. In addition, a patch panel room is hub to computers and phones, while a pneumatic bank teller unit provides drive-up customer payments. New air-conditioning, heating, plumbing and electric systems were provided throughout the building.
The upper levels entered from the City Hall driveway provide administrative offices, clerical, map room, payment reception and board room. The lower level entered from Jansen Street provide water service offices, lockers, meter repair shop, material and equipment storage and truck maintenance and repair garage.