Goss roof repair wrapping up early

The Goss Opera House roof repair project is wrapping up ahead of schedule.

The large crane used for the project will be removed, opening the road once again at Maple Street between First Avenue South and Kemp Avenue.

The project was coordinated by the Friends of the Goss Opera House, Inc, (FOG), a non-profit organization that acquired the building on Dec. 31, 2018.

“We so appreciate the support and patience of our downtown neighbors as we work to revive Watertown’s last remaining opera house,” said Missy Sinner, FOG Executive Director. “This is a major step in preserving this iconic theater for our community to enjoy once again.”

Hasslen Construction, a family-owned construction company that specializes in historical buildings, completed the roof repair.

The project involved removing the existing roof coverings and decking. New support trusses sourced through Cashway Lumber were placed around the opera hall’s existing wood trusses. Enercept panels replaced sagging purlins and decking and provide energy-efficiency to the historic building. A Pro-Tec rubber roof overlay is the top layer of protection in preserving the integrity of the opera house.

As part of its mission to restore and sustain the Goss, the FOG has focused efforts on improving the energy efficiency of the historic building which first opened in 1889.

“We had an energy consultant evaluate the entire facility and make recommendations on what projects would have the best payback in terms of energy savings,” said Milt Carter, FOG board president. “The roof was certainly an area of opportunity. We now have 12 inches of insulation with an average insulation value of R-54 in the new Goss roof.”

Along with the roof repair, the boarded up windows of the third floor bank building event space have now been restored with new windows.

The Friends of the Goss will now be working on interior repairs and renovations, including a major overhaul of the building’s HVAC system as well as restoring the opera hall itself which sustained damage to the walls and ceiling as a result of the failing roof.

“We have come a long way on our journey to protect and preserve this unique treasure. The support of the community has been incredible,” said Sinner. “We have actually had to expand the scope of our restoration due to requests by the business community to utilize all spaces at the Goss. Given this excitement and demand, we will certainly work to accommodate our community’s need.”

Funding for the project has come from in-kind donations and funds raised as part of the “Light Up the Goss” capital campaign. Additional financial support is still needed before the doors to the Goss theater can open once again.

“We have been very pleased with the donations we have received to date, but still have some ways to go to complete our campaign,” said Carter. “One thing is for sure, we are doing this the right way, ensuring a bright future for the Goss theater for years to come.”