A committee is continuing to investigate the costs to refurbish or redesign the Sister Bay Village Hall.
Last summer, the village plan commission recommended the hall be razed, but after several contentious public-feedback sessions during which attendees overwhelmingly supported saving the building, the board changed course and formed an ad hoc committee to take another look at the building, how it could be refurbished and used, and how much that will cost.
The committee is charged with making a recommendation to the board regarding the future of the hall by the end of 2024.
Village staff members have gathered information from 10 other communities about how their village hall and community centers are used to help them formulate a survey that they will send to village residents to gather feedback about how they would like to see the building used if it’s renovated.
During its March 6 meeting, the committee reviewed estimates to replace the building’s heating and air-conditioning systems. Wulf Brothers supplied an estimate of $41,400 to install new heating and air-conditioning units for the main hall and the basement level of the building, plus a dehumidifier for the basement. Grainger supplied an estimate of $2,811.25 to replace the sump pump in the basement.
Those measures would help make the building more usable and efficient, and they would also address mold issues in the basement. An analysis from NorthStar Environmental Testing found mold in the basement and elevator shaft. It also confirmed the presence of asbestos in the basement’s HVAC duct wrap but did not provide an estimated cost for remediation.
Administrator Julie Schmelzer presented a recap of her conversation with a commercial-plans examiner regarding the elevator in the hall that provides access to the basement. The elevator has been broken for years, and the examiner said the village must either repair or replace it, or provide new access that meets state code.
“You can’t remove access to an area – whether used or not – once you provide access,” she reported.
The village will get estimates for the cost to repair or replace that elevator.