Dumfries Town Hall gets new look

The new Dumfries Town Hall will barely resemble the old Dumfries Town Hall when the inside renovations are complete in about two months.

The dark wood paneled walls, vintage 1960s and 1970s, are history and are being replaced with white painted dry wall.

Much of the carpet also is going. This is being replaced with durable laminated flooring that resembles hard wood.

And, the layout of the hall is changing dramatically. The business office space is switching places with the Dumfries Town Council chambers space.

More individual offices are being added and designed so that the mayor’s office is next to the town manager’s office, which is next to the assistant to the town manager’s office.

Additionally, the police chief’s office is being moved upstairs from the police department. There are many more changes as well such as the expansion of the public works department into the conference room space. A new conference room is being built in space that used to be occupied by the mayor’s office at the back of the council chambers.

The project sounds extensive and expensive. Dumfries town staff, however, has found a way to do it for about $15,600 with all of the work being done in-house.

Building Official Reshad Miakhail and Julius “Tuck” Scroggins, Dumfries public works crew leader, are doing all of the work themselves.

“We work after 5 p.m. and on weekends so we don’t interrupt business,” said Miakhail. “Every time we finish for the day, we clean up for the next work day.”

So far, the men have constructed the mayor’s new office. It took them 60 hours spread over about two weeks. They are now working on the new conference room that will include insulated walls to make it sound-proof.

The renovation was sorely needed on the old building. The structure was donated to the town for a hall in the early 1970s, largely due to the efforts of then Dumfries Town Councilman Curtis Porter.

“We’ve been talking about doing this for awhile,” said Dumfries Mayor Melvin “Mel” Bray. “Now, it’s finally coming together.”

The town had set money aside for the project in the current fiscal year’s budget.

“This really needed to be done for safety reasons,” Bray said. Behind the paneling was just wooden two-by-fours.

“If this ever had caught on fire, it would have burned so fast,” Bray said.

Bray, who had only recently moved into his new office this week, was still arranging it and waiting for the arrival of additional furniture being donated by Dumfries Discount House furniture store.

“It is so great that a business in the town is interested enough in the appearance of its town hall that they’ve decided to assist us in sprucing it up,” Bray said. “It’s a remarkable effort on their part.”

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