SOMERS, NY — The town of Somers will receive a state grant that will enable it to install an upgraded HVAC system for the Town Hall — which is otherwise known as the Elephant Hotel.
State Senator Pete Harckham made the announcement recently that the $100,000 grant will be forthcoming.
Harckham said he was pleased to be able to help the town while alleviating some of the tax burden that the upgrade would have cost.
“For the benefit of our municipal employees and residents alike, it is best to update and revamp well-used infrastructure and shared facilities whenever possible, of which a new HVAC system for the Somers Town House, one of Westchester’s most important historical buildings, is a great example,” he said.
The Somers Town House is the center of town government in Somers.
Completed in 1825, the Elephant Hotel was built by Hachaliah Bailey, a prominent American circus operator who was born and died in Somers. The town bought the hotel and adapted it for use as a town hall in 1927.
The first two floors house the town’s office and meeting rooms, and the third floor is used by the Somers Historical Society and Museum.
The building was designated a National Historic landmark in 2005.
At present, the building uses an oil-fired central boiler for heat and hot water. There are 12 window-mounted air conditioning units in offices and a central A/C unit for the large, 1,600-square-foot meeting room. The mix of HVAC technologies is inefficient and doesn’t allow for people to have sufficient control of temperature in their workplaces.
Additionally, the window units detract from the building’s historical aesthetics and limit sunlight from getting into offices.
The new HVAC system will utilize a state-of-the-art variable refrigerant flow air source heat exchanger and an array of interior air handlers. Separate configurations can be constructed to allow simultaneous heating and cooling in different work areas.
The design of the project has been completed and work began in July. The cost for the entire HVAC project is expected to be $154,000, according to a spokesperson.
Harckham secured the funding from the State and Municipal Facilities Program, which is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.