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Pickens Hall building project scheduled for spring

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HEUVELTON – A much-anticipated building project at Pickens Hall is tentatively slated to get under way in March.

The next round of building at the historic general store will see an addition added to the back of the building enclosing an elevator.

The project has been delayed several times over the past year due to the Heuvelton Historical Association’s difficulties securing a line of credit. Originally it was reported the project would begin last summer. It was then postponed to the fall.

Heuvelton Historical Association President David H. Kingsley said a line of credit for the project will hopefully be established soon.

The large addition will be built covering “the entire back of the building, 21 feet into the parking lot,” Betsy C. Hebert, manager of the Pickens General Store online shop, said.

The addition will house a new staircase and an elevator offering handicapped access to the second and third floors.

It will also be fire resistant to ensure the old building is compliant with modern fire codes while maintaining its historical integrity.

For years the building’s opera house has been neglected and was considered unsafe.

Ms. Hebert said the summer of 2012 was “the first summer that we’ve allowed customers to take tours of the third floor,” including the building’s historic opera house.

She said it’s common for people to forget that the third floor exists. That will change when construction crews break ground.

Continental Construction, Gouverneur, is on retainer as the general contractor for the project, Mr. Kingsley said.

In total, the spring project is expected to cost $2.2 million, Mr. Kingsley said.

Last year saw the first floor of the store remodeled, complete with large, wooden front doors built by members of the Heuvelton Amish community.

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