Town Approves $350,000 for Electrical Equipment at Renovated Playhouse

The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved a pair of contracts for electrical equipment needed for the widely anticipated renovation project at the Playhouse on Elm Street. Shuttered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 100-year-old brick movie theater is undergoing major interior work for a reopening later this year. The selectmen during their Feb. 19 meeting voted unanimously in favor of an approximately $24,000 contract with a Danbury-based company for switchgear equipment, and a $325,000 contract with an Avon-based company for equipment such as air handlers and condensers. 

Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings in the Department of Public Works, said Building Codes and Energy Codes have “changed quite a bit” recently. “They just changed in October so we’ve got a couple of extra things added to it that we have to do by Code now,” Oestmann said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

Moynihan: Playhouse To Reopen in 2023; Town Approves $385,000 for Demo, Abatement

The Board of Selectmen last week approved an approximately $385,000 contract with a Ridgefield-based firm for demolition and abatement work at The Playhouse. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract with Alden Bailey. The work will involve “selective construction, demolition and abatement services,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. It includes the removal of a chimney and some flooring, abatement from two areas of the Elm Street building and creation of a new elevator shaft, Mann said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held Jan. 26 at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

The work will take about six to eight weeks “while we finalize the design drawings that will go to Building and P&Z [Planning & Zoning],” Mann said.

Selectmen Approve $175,000 Contract for Interior Demo Work at Playhouse

Town officials this month approved an approximately $175,000 contract with a Ridgefield-based firm for interior demolition and abatement at the movie theater on Elm Street. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the $175,381 contract with Alden Bailey Restoration. 

“This will open up the area and allow the architects and the engineers to get in and take a deeper dive and look and then finalize the design and then come back with the interior fit-out for the Playhouse itself,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the selectmen at their Dec. 13 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. The town in November approved a $25,000 with the same firm for “design-build consulting services,” which requires Alden Bailey to work with the local architect Architectural Preservation Studios, as well as the engineer on the renovation project, to move more quickly through the design and bidding processes. The selectmen asked whether the town had bid out the new contract (no, it follows from the design-build), whether the firm has expertise in restoration (yes), whether the work is in the budget for the Playhouse (yes and the town believes the overall project is coming in within budget), whether there’s an individual line item in the budget for the work (no) and what the interior demolition work involves (removing the balcony and projection room, which will house new ADA bathrooms and an elevator).