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Local construction projects continue to move forward

  • Bob Taylor of Taylor Land Services moves earth during construction at Cranberry Meadow Farm in Peterborough, on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Bob Taylor of Taylor Land Services moves earth during construction at Cranberry Meadow Farm, a new bed and breakfast on the corner of Old Street Road and Route 101 in Peterborough, on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/6/2020 4:09:43 PM

By and large, the local construction industry has continued to move forward amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With outdoor projects that make social distancing among workers more easily possible, there hasn’t been much alteration to schedules, while interior work becomes a little more tricky when multiple trades are needed to complete a project amid six-foot requirements.

But so far, there hasn’t been any major interruption to a few large construction projects happening in the area, just some adjustments with the future so unknown.

For Carolyn and Charlie Hough, the original goal was to open Cranberry Meadow Farm, a new bed and breakfast on the corner of Old Street Road and Route 101 in Peterborough, in July. But once it became clear that COVID-19 could alter summer plans for many people, the Houghs decided to push back their opening until October.

Renovation to the building that began as Wilson Tavern in 1797 and eventually became a private residence continues, but at a slower pace Carolyn Hough said.

“It’s behind schedule, but I don’t think we’re going to be in full recovery mode, people taking vacations in July,” Hough said. “So we will take our time.”

For Hough, she said the delayed opening will allow for them to have more time to get things just right before unveiling Peterborough’s newest B&B.

“We felt October was a hopeful time,” Hough said. “It seemed a little more comfortable to us.”

At present time, the Houghs are using just one bedroom and one bathroom in the building, sharing the space with their daughter who is sleeping on an air mattress.

Hough said the outdoor work, which includes a solar field, has mainly stayed on schedule, but the interior remodel has slowed.

“It was a very mutual decision,” Hough said of their discussion to slow down with contractors.

When completed, Cranberry Meadow will feature eight rooms, all with private bathrooms, two of which are being added during the renovation project, and an owners living quarters. They also added a swimming pool and fitness room.

Chad Branon, a project engineer and principal at Fieldstone Land Consultants, said the condominium project at the former site of Woodman’s Florist on Concord Street in Peterborough is currently still waiting on state permitting for the project.

Branon said the proposed 16 home project is waiting for an alteration of terrain permit through the NH Department of Environmental Services and another from NH Department of Transportation that deals with the elimination of curb cutouts and access to Route 202.

“The process has been slowed,” Branon said. “Its taken a lot longer to go through that process.”

Branon said that a back log of permits coupled with challenges presented due to the coronavirus pandemic is likely the reason for the extra time to secure the permits. Branon said the project received initial approval at the Peterborough Planning Board level in November and once the permitting is secured, they will go back to the town for final approval.

Branon said he wasn’t sure when the anticipated construction phase of the project is set to begin, as nothing can move forward before being granted the necessary permits.

“It doesn’t take much for time to start adding up,” Branon said.

Mike Shea, president of Belletetes, said that the construction phase for two new buildings at the Jaffrey location, a 12,000 square foot retail drywall showroom and a 7,000 square foot maintenance area for the company’s fleet of vehicles, is largely done outside of sitework, landscaping and fence work.

He attributes the delay to completing the project to an early winter and lousy spring thus far, but nothing has been affected due to COVID-19.

What has been altered by the coronavirus is any future renovations to the company’s six locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Shea said there has been a hold put on decisions when it comes to projects moving forward. Shea said there “wasn’t anything specific and some of it’s just cosmetic” but at present time nothing has been finalized.

“We’ve always believed in reinvesting and putting money back into the facilities,” Shea said. “The planning continues, but the decision to move forward with those plans is on pause.”


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