Historic Bath Town Hall renovations wrapping up after delays

by Laura Bednar

Renovations on historic Bath Town Hall are wrapping up after beginning in late summer of last year.

Township trustees approved a bid from Metis Construction Services in June 2021 to do the renovations for $288,259. Service Director Caine Collins said the delay in finishing the renovations, scheduled to take 60 days, was caused by several factors.

“Metis had a late start due to product availability and personnel and manpower shortages,” Collins said. “[The company] had trouble locating the building shakes, and the weather didn’t cooperate well.”

He added that during winter, Metis was limited in the work it could do on the structure, located at the intersection of Bath and Cleveland Massillon roads.

Renovations focused on the exterior of the building, which was in disrepair due to age and water damage. Collins said the paint on the building contained lead and after performing lead abatement, Metis repainted. Work also included replacing wood and building trim, installing new gutters and replacing the basement windows and doors.

Two of the most noticeable upgrades were to the front and rear building entrances. A new railing system was installed along the ramp to the back door, and Metis rebuilt the sandstone front steps, which Collins said were falling in on themselves.

The wooden railing system was rebuilt using synthetic material with a wood appearance. Collins said the railing was an add-on and wasn’t part of the original building.

“We tried to use materials as close to the originals as possible,” said Collins.

This maintained the character of the building but required shaping materials to fit the space. Collins said it also resulted in longer wait times until particular materials were available.

A more modern addition is ground-mounted LED lighting, which will illuminate the building. Previously, commercial light packs were attached to the building, and after 30 years Collins said they became outdated.

“It doesn’t meet with the character of the building,” he said, adding that the LED will ensure “the area is more appropriately lit.”

At press time, the lights were on back order, and Metis was in the process of completing exterior painting. Collins said aside from these items, most renovations are complete, and the building was to be open for Memorial Day.

“I’m glad the building was able to be restored to the level it was,” Collins said. “We expect many years out of the renovations.” ∞