published Friday, October 28th, 2011

Dalton post office rehabilitation approved

Dalton Georgia's historic post office
Dalton Georgia's historic post office
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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DALTON, Ga. -- Renovations at Dalton's historic post office will begin next week after City Council members awarded an $850,000 contract to replace the roof, build a new cupola and renovate the inside of the 100-year-old building.

Cope Brothers Construction was the lowest responsible bidder, according to the resolution the city council approved in a specially called meeting at City Hall on Thursday morning.

The renovated building will be rented to the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce and the Carpet and Rug Institute, bringing more people and businesses to a struggling downtown, officials say.

Cathy Snyder, with the Gregg Sims architectural firm, presented the plans for the renovation at the meeting. The project is expected to take about six months.

The most costly part of the renovation will be to remove the original slate roof, repair water damage and replace it with a recycled rubber product, Snyder said. "It will look just like the slate, but remove the weight from the slate roof," Snyder said.

It also will cost about $76,000 to remove the cupola with a crane and have a replica built to replace it. Snyder said a standard cupola would have cost about $40,000, but they recommended spending the additional money to match the original.

The cupola is modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia and was one of dozens placed on post offices during that time period, city manager Ty Ross said.

The inside of the building will not be restored to the original, but will be renovated with updated office space. Since the building previously was used as the Dalton school's central office, the post office boxes and other post office paraphernalia already have been removed, Snyder said.

The Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce plans to deed its College Drive property to the city for a park and rainwater retention pond. The Carpet and Rug Institute will sell its College Drive business to the Dalton State Foundation to become part of Dalton State College.

Ross said the city also is working to secure public and private funding for another historic building in Dalton -- the Crown Mill Store.

Complete restoration would cost $190,000 to $200,000, Ross said.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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Wilder said...

I have a good story idea for Mariann. Research the dollar amount that the city has paid out to Cope Bros Construction since our current mayor has been in office. Add that to Brother Don's and Sister Kaye's take from Dalton's citizens for a grand total - it is in the millions. Also, tally the percentage of the City of Dalton's construction contracts that have gone to Cope Bros.

October 28, 2011 at 8:17 a.m.
Wilder said...

One more point about the Cope Bros. When the Mayor announced the recent remodeling of the railroad freight depot, by the Cope Bros., the elevated viewing platform received top billing for the project.

The stated purpose of the elevated viewing platform was to attract train enthusiast to observe a rare track crossing, where the trains on the East Tenn and Rome railroad cross the tracks of the trains coming down from Chattanooga in route to Atlanta.

The depot was remodeled, but the platform was never built. Train enthusiast have to settle for an uncovered ground level deck which is no better than standing by the side of the tracks. The story is that they ran out of money before they got to the most important component of the project. How does that happen?

To my knowledge, the townies, who devote most of their attention to displaying and observing private school and resort stickers on each others' gaudy-mobiles, never questioned why the platform wasn't built.

October 28, 2011 at 9:04 a.m.
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