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Elkton Town Council will send out bids this week for renovation work on the Jennings House, built in 1840.

At Monday’s Elkton Town Council retreat, Lineage Architects gave an update on the nearly 179-year-old Jennings House’s changes and repairs.

Council will send out invitations to bid on the project this week to local contracting firms.

According to Mayor Josh Gooden, bids will be accepted for around one month, and a walk-through will be planned within the next two weeks.

Plans for the building, located at 173 W. Spotswood Ave., include an addition on the northern end to have a stairway and wheelchair lift on the main level.

There will also be a lobby on the main and lower levels of the building along with new handicapped-accessible restrooms and a small break room.

A two-story addition will replace an enclosed structure on the north side of the building, which is not part of the original building built in 1840 by Dr. Simeon Jennings.

“The addition will mimic the style of the existing building with brick, windows and trim detail,” Gooden said. “The hope is to preserve the building and showcase the unique architecture gem of downtown Elkton and the Shenandoah Valley.”

Minor changes to the building will include new electric, plumbing, storm windows and lighting, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Lineage Architects does not have an estimate on the cost of the Jennings House project. Gooden said council should have an idea of the cost next month.

“We had a preliminary estimate from the architects, but I’d rather not say right now since there have been some changes to the design and we have a more firm plan for HVAC now,” he said.

The cost associated with the firm was $15,700 to document the building and $15,140 more to study feasible uses for it.

It is unclear when the project will be completed.

“Completion time will depend on when the selected contractor could begin work and how the Town Council feels is the best way to finance the project,” Gooden said.

He said council hopes to have most, if not all, town administrative offices return to the building.

The building most recently served as Elkton Town Hall. However, it has been vacant since August 2016, when the basement flooded. All town offices were moved to the Elkton Area Community Center when mold was discovered shortly after the water damage.

Gooden said there are other town-owned buildings that are also underutilized that might serve as future office spaces for different departments, although no plans have been made.

Also at the retreat, council made a resolution to rebid the wastewater treatment plant project since the 60-day window for accepting prior bids has passed.

The wastewater treatment plant expansion and upgrade is expected to cost $17 million and will include increasing the capacity of the plant from 400,000 gallons per day to 800,000.

Plans also call for the plant to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater before discharging it into the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, a requirement of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988.

In other news, council had a closed session at the end of the retreat to review seven applications for a new town manager.

Previous Town Manager Kimberly Alexander resigned in December after working for the town for around seven months.

Prior to Alexander, the town had been without a manager since February 2016, when council terminated Kevin Whitfield after he submitted a letter of resignation.

Alexander was the town’s eighth town manager since 2001, not including Wayne Printz, a former mayor who served as acting town manager for a number of years without pay.

Gooden said Town Council will spend the rest of this week reviewing the applications and will continue to accept applications until the position is filled.

Of the seven applications, all but one are from Virginia residents, mostly within the Shenandoah Valley.

The other applicant resides in Tennessee.

Council anticipates beginning the interview process within the next week or two, according to Gooden.

Contact Laine Griffin at 574-6286 or lgriffin@dnronline.com. Follow Laine on Twitter @laine_griffDNR

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