New Hampshire State Library and Laconia Courthouse - High-Profile Monthly Article
Meridian Updates Two Historic Facilities
Gilford, NH – Meridian Construction will bring two historical New Hampshire facilities into a new decade: the N.H. State Library and the Laconia District Courthouse.
In Concord, at the heart of New Hampshire's central government, sits its State Library, originally built in 1895, the oldest institution of its kind in America. Composed of native granite and bearing traces of a much earlier time in our country's history, the state building stands as an important reminder of the great scholarly heritage of America.
In early 2009, Meridian Construction of Gilford began work refurbishing and restoring several floors of this historical artifact, bringing many of its elements into the 21st century for energy efficiency and practical use.
It wasn't the first time that Meridian was hired to renovate the old library. Back in September 2003, the company was brought in to install a new sprinkler system, HVAC equipment, new mounted panels in doorways, hardware, paint, and other miscellaneous specialties. This time around it was hired to repair and replace the library's over 100 wood windows, existing aluminum windows, membrane roofing, paint, trimming, and additional materials on the building's roof, which had survived more than 30 years since last update. And like in 2003, all work had to be done during regular business hours, without incident, complaint, or damage to the building's many valuable materials – including artwork, books, and historical archives.
The Laconia District Courthouse once stood as the site of the old Laconia High School. But today, on its third floor, where the school's old gymnasium used to be, one of three newly renovated courtrooms now serves the local community – with an old-world architecture that reaches up from the bottom level through twisting stairs made around oak newel posts and railings, overlooking much of Lake Winnisquam.
Originally built in 1886, the courthouse has seen numerous changes over its 124 years. It saw a fire in the 1940s that left many of its beams burnt and cracked. And not until mid-2007, when Meridian Construction was asked to begin a $4.7 million expansion and renovation, did those structural supports receive the attention they needed. Removed and rebuilt by Meridian, they were replaced just as they were showing significant signs of failure.
New features in the updated courthouse have included a new three-story addition, an x-ray machine at the front entrance, restrooms on every floor, conference rooms for clients and lawyers to meet privately, a renovated basement with a holding area for defendants, a lunch room, staff lounge, office for the building supervisor, and a built-in public address system with special seating and earphone for the hearing-impaired. The courthouse also has benefited from increased parking on both sides of the facility, two new elevators, a dumbwaiter, landscaping, and a new entrance ramp for handicap access.