Costs are mounting for the exterior renovation to the historical Bull house, with some officials expressing reservations.
Last week, the City Council Safety and Public Properties Committee reviewed a change order for the work, increasing the project cost by roughly $8,000 for a current total of $218,000. This work also will extend the completion date by two weeks.
The committee approved the request and City Council added its approval Monday.
The extra money will pay for a large floor elevation and replacement of the front porch, among other issues. But some council members raised concerns.
“As a committee and a council, we made a decision to move forward with the project and we have to do what’s right to make it safe, but I’m not thrilled with it,” Councilman Jeremy A. Zelwin said. This cost doesn’t even address the interior.
“It is a lot of money in the current economic times,” Mr. Zelwin added.
Councilman William I. Russo agreed.
“I’m not thrilled we have to do this as well,” Mr. Russo said, “but we started it, and we are not going to do it halfway.”
Work on the 1835 house at 34045 Bainbridge Road began after Memorial Day. Original cost estimates of $365,000 had been scaled back by City Council to $210,000, with work just centering on the exterior.
The home is named for the founder of the city, Lorenzo Solon Bull. Preserving the structure is suggested in the city’s master plan.
The city committed to renovating the home, with discussions of it being used for a second gallery space for the Solon Center for the Arts, space for adult art and a small rental space.
The historical Lynch home located next door met the wrecking ball earlier this year.
With the change order, Public Works Director William Drsek said the completion of the Bull house would be July 31.
The contractor identified elevation issues when laying out the exterior ramp and doors required by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. There is a difference of about 3 inches in the floor elevation from the front door threshold to the rear wall of the kitchen, the contractor said.
The new work to be done would eliminate any grading issues with the doors and therefore any trip hazards, Mr. Drsek added.