Raymond Town Hall is undergoing a long anticipated interior makeover. While the back offices (code enforcement, town manager, etc.) will remain unchanged, the main service area and offices of the town clerk and finance director will take on a whole new look by mid-to-late June.
According to Town Manager Don Willard, future prospects for town hall improvement or expansion were for years uncertain. Consideration had been given to either major renovation at its current location on Webbs Mills Road or a rebuild as part of a municipal town square on Main Street near the Raymond Library. A capital reserve fund was established to address whatever decision was made. When it became obvious that a new town office was not in the cards for the near term, town officials opted for the significant remodeling now underway. “We’re improving efficiency, function and customer service,” said Willard, including wider doorways for handicapped access.
The small vestibule at the front entrance will remain. Beyond that point there will be two doors. One, to the left, will utilize the (largely unused) area formerly used for town select board and other meetings. Three sit down stations in the form of L-shaped desks will accommodate general services, such as licenses, taxes and motor vehicle fees.
The current customer service area will feature raised counters and serve overflow customers and other business. Town clerk Sue Look, who is overseeing the renovations, will have a highly accessible office area in this section, along with new accommodations for the finance director.
Look said all town office personnel are looking forward to having a “real break room,” which will occupy the former finance office. “We used take our lunch breaks in the open area across from the current service counter. And that caused customers to feel like they were intruding.”
Another big change, and perhaps the most obvious, will be color. New walls will be a historic “shady” green.
Also of historic note, two of the old and familiar slate chalkboards from the buildings schoolhouse days will remain, as will the archival sign: Town Hall – Raymond – 1866.