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The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill Board of Directors is ready to move forward with plans to repair the 15,000-square-foot barn on the property after having reached an agreement with the town and shown proof of funding for the repairs. 

Educational Farm at Joppa Hill ready to repair barn

The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill Board of Directors is ready to move forward with plans to repair the 15,000-square-foot barn

According the parties’ agreement signed in March, the town had to remove ceiling tiles, which contained asbestos, by April 30 and, in turn, the board would file an engineering report and an estimate for repairs by June 30. The board was also required to provide proof of funding.

“We responded to the town last week, well within the 60 days,” said William Brennan, the board’s attorney.

Town Manager Jessie Levine confirmed the estimate was received. According to Levine, the estimated cost presented by A. W. Rose to the board for repairs to the roof tresses, roof deck and supports, and masonry is $59,500.

“We have advised the board’s attorney that it needs to complete the building permit process to make sure that the contractor’s scope of work aligns with building code requirements,” she said. “With respect to the repairs, the next steps remain in EFJH’s court.”

Brennan and board Chairman Michael Scanlon met with A. W. Rose Construction to assess the needed repairs about three weeks ago. The assessment process took about 60 days.

“We think it’s doable. We think it’s beneficial to the town to repair the barn and move forward,” Brennan said.

The board has one year to complete the renovation, which will be enough time, Scanlon said.

Brennan said Dick Anagnost, president of Anagnost Investments, a real estate development, construction management, and property maintenance and management company in Manchester, has been helpful regarding the barn.

In March, town councilors asked voters at the Budgetary Town Meeting to approve transferring $40,000 from the Land Reserve Fund to the DPW Building Maintenance line. The cost of removing the tiles has a zero tax impact on taxes, councilors said.

The removal, remediation, disposal, oversight and testing of the ceiling tiles cost the allocated $40,000, Levine said.

Under the agreement, The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill’s board and the town will sit down and negotiate a long-term agreement for the property.

The barn has been vacant and the farm animals safeguarded while the ceiling tiles were removed by the town. The barn cannot be used until a certificate of occupancy is secured.

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