ATKINSON — If you've passed by the Atkinson Fire Department recently and noticed workers banging on the building with hammers, don't worry — they're supposed to be there. 

In fact, the town hired contractor Ryco Industries to do the renovations.  Workers have been installing vinyl siding, trim and insulation. 

The reconstruction started in late April and is projected to be complete in August for a cost of $223,401, according to Town Administrator David Cressman. Expenses from the architect working on the project will add $18,200 to that cost, Cressman said.

The project originated in 2018 as a warrant article that passed with a budget of $240,000 for supplemental fixes. However, once rot was discovered, and it was decided to add insulation to the building, $12,677 was added to the total in 2019 to make the project doable.

Though the budget was $252,677, the job was completed for about $11,000 less. 

According to Cressman, the original installation of siding and weatherproofing on the building was done poorly as there was "serious deterioration of the sheeting."

Fire Chief Michael Murphy said water had gotten behind areas that weren't flashed properly on the building, causing those areas to rot. 

This renovation involves taking the entire exterior off of the building to ensure all of the areas underneath are sound, and includes a different architectural design to stop this problem from happening again, Murphy said. 

Murphy said the renovation has not interrupted the day-to-day work at the department at all. Arrangements were made if an apparatus needed to be moved for workers or vice-versa. Murphy said the contractors were "meticulous with (their) workmanship" and said it's nice to know the building is weather tight once more.