The Windham Town Hall is undergoing renovations, its first since the 1970s.

Town departments have moved into the annex and Windham Community Center, on either side of the hall, as work crews began gutting the two usable floors in mid-December. With the exception of a few load-bearing walls, the entire layout of the two floors will be reworked.

Town Manager Anthony Plante said the renovations will help make better use of the space. The project’s completion date is estimated to be in the spring.

In the past, reams of town documents ended up stacked in the wide hallways. The new interior will have more office space, as well as modern conveniences like Internet cables built into the walls. Ventilation and air-conditioning improvements are also on the menu.

The new town hall will have a design-feel consistent with the annex, including similar styles of doors and lights.

“It was all kind of a hodge-podge before,” Plante said.

Residents previously had to discuss business in the open, because there were no private spaces to go to. This has been solved by adding private offices, according to Jim Webb, who runs WCCG TV-7, Windham’s public access television station from the town hall.

WCCG went off the air at the closing of the Jan. 2 town council meeting because all of the broadcasting equipment had to be moved for the renovations. Webb was able to set up a skeletal operation with minimal equipment in the janitor’s closet in the annex to broadcast live the conclusion of the Busque quarry hearing on Tuesday.

The outside of the building will go untouched, save a few repairs and spots of paint to the woodwork.

It took public works crews and office staff a full day to move all of the furniture and files from the heart of the building into the community center gymnasium, according to Community Development Director Roger Timmons.

An improvised maze of desks and filing cabinets now dominates the gym. Timmons can see his entire community development staff from his desk, as well as the tax assessing department.

“If I need anything from someone, I just holler,” said Timmons.

“I think the town was pretty fortunate it had this space to put us in,” said Elisa Trepanier, assistant assessor. “It’s a clean environment during construction.”

The Windham Center Stage Theater normally uses the community center for plays. Its new play, “A Little Princess,” which begins shows in February, has been moved to the high school.

Lynn Morrell, the recreation programmer, noticed one problem.

“You’ve got 10 desks with 10 phones, and they all have the same ring,” she said.

As for the neon yellow brickwork adorning the inside wall near the elevator, that, too, will remain untouched.

“I guess that will have to remain a relic of the ’70s,” Plante said.

townhall1: Elisa Trepanier, assistant assessor, works at her desk temporarily located in the Windham Community Center. The posted ban on shoes in the community center has not be enforced since town employees were relocated last month.townhall2 and townhall3: Town Manager Tony Plante looks at the stripped-down town council chambers. Plante said when the renovations are complete, the side of the room that used to be the front of the chambers will now be the backside.townhall2 and townhall3: Town Manager Tony Plante looks at the stripped-down town council chambers. Plante said when the renovations are complete, the side of the room that used to be the front of the chambers will now be the backside. “Things always look a little hairy at this point in the process,” Plante said.townhall4: WCCG TV-7 director Jim Webb (right) directs night operator Brad Saucier in the custodial closet of the town hall annex. Saucier used the minimalist equipment setup to broadcast the conclusion of the Busque quarry application.


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