The speckled blue and white tile that has welcomed visitors to Braintree Town Hall for decades is gone, as construction has begun to bring in wooden floors to the lobby of the building.
Plans to renovate the floor have been in the works since 2005, with more than $1 million appropriated at Braintree Town Meeting in 2005 to do the floors alongside a slew of other work.
Other projects included the installation of an elevator in the Braintree building, renovating the steps out front, and put in new railings, as well as some work at the old Thayer Public Library next door.
Yet with a change in government in 2006 and 2007, coupled with fluctuating bond ratings, the $10,000 project had been put off until just this week.
“A lot of the work that was done, or that was authorized, has already been done,” said Peter Morin, chief of operations and staff. “… The elevator and things like that, most of that was done back [when the bonds were issued in 2009 and 2010]. We’re just trying to address other things as we go. The important things came first.”
Contractors have started to tear up the lobby floor, Morin said, and the wood will be put in once it is delivered.
Most likely, the work would take place over several weekends and occur when Town Hall is closed.
The tile floor has been in place since the early 1960s, and replaced the terrazzo tile that was there when the building was constructed in 1913.
“It was something I was used to…[but] it’s always nice to have an improved working environment,” Morin said.
The new floor will play a big part in the anniversary of the building, which will celebrate 100 years this year.
“The goal is to have a cake and an open house,” said Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan.
Sullivan said it would be a low-key acknowledgement of the history of the building, and efforts have been made to collect old photographs of Town Hall to put alongside the celebration.
Morin said the local merchants may also have a separate night to celebrate the Town Hall.