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Public Works improves Town Office energy efficiency

By Susan Mustapich | Jan 11, 2020
Photo by: Caitlin Thompson Public Works Department employee Jack Orestes, left, assisted Tracy Harford, right, with installation of an outer door to the John R. French Jr. Conference Room at the Town Office, which suits the historic building and helps keep out cold air.

CAMDEN — Public Works employees are improving energy efficiency at the Town Office this week.

The Town Office is located within the Camden Opera House Block, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic registry means that any exterior alteration to the building must meet guidelines.

Public Works Director Dave St. Laurent credits Opera House Manager Dave Morrison for researching historic designation requirements and Public Works Department employee Tracy Harford for his work in adding an outer exterior door to the John French Jr. Conference Room.

Harford built a structure to house the new outer door within an alcove that is part of the building's exterior. The single door in the alcove that has been there as long as anyone can remember lets in wintery air when the door opens. The new outer door seals off the alcove and keeps cold air from blasting into the room.

Harford made the housing for the door so that it blends in with the historic character of the Opera House building. He designed it to fit neatly into the alcove, so it did not need to be fastened to the brick.

His next project is building frames used to make insulating window inserts for some of the large palladian windows in the Town Office. He is making frames for the semi-circular top of the windows. The town is working with Window Dressers, which is making custom inserts for the lower, square portion of the windows.

The semi-circle shaped frames will be attached to the square frames. Next, the entire frame is sealed on both sides with clear plastic. The air between the two layers of plastic provides inexpensive insulation for windows, which often cause heat loss. The inserts help lower fuel consumption and heating costs, and reduce energy demand.

Window Dressers is a non-profit organization that sells and donates custom window inserts. It keeps the cost of inserts low by working with residents and organizations who volunteer to help make the inserts for their own buildings, or for others.

Tracy Harford of the Public Works department built a new enclosure and door to the John R. French Conference Room that blends with the historic Opera House building. (Photo by: Caitlin Thompson)
Tracy Harford of the Public Works Department. left, measures the semi-circular arch of the palladian-style windows in the Town Office, in order to make a frame for insulating window inserts. (Photo by: Caitlin Thompson)
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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 11, 2020 13:10

Love that you preserved the "Old" historic windows and doors "look". Camden by the "Sea" and historical to boot. Only with volunteers to create and preserve could all this happen. Kudos to all!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever, former Hope Post Master, now retired.

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