Franklin Farm project back on time, budget

Franklin Farm project back on time, budget

Workers from Martone Service Inc. work on the new open front porch at Franklin Farm’s farmhouse. (Breeze photos by Ethan Shorey)

CUMBERLAND – The $300,000 restoration of the Metcalf-Franklin Farm farmhouse on Abbott Run Valley Road is back on budget and on schedule for completion by the end of the year, town officials say.

The project, being completed by Martone Service Inc., had hit its biggest hurdle when an inspection of the front of the house found far more rotted wood than expected, said Town Planner Joshua O’Neill.

As with any project of this magnitude, there’s a good deal of back and forth between town officials and the company doing the work over project changes and pricing, said O’Neill. One item might be within the scope of the work originally bid on, while another might turn out to be a lot larger than expected once workers remove layers, he said.

The project was able to get back on budget when Martone workers had an easier time removing paint than they expected, said O’Neill. Much of the primer was on the building as of last Friday afternoon, well ahead of schedule, he said.

Because the company didn’t have to do the kind of paint stripping they were expecting to, the project saved a lot of money, said O’Neill, and those savings should cover the remaining wood repairs.

“It will definitely stay within budget,” he said. “There’s no negotiating on that.”

The exterior renovation of the farmhouse, funded through a $150,000 Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission grant and matching open space money from the town, is phase one of a multi-phase plan to convert the 1857 farmhouse at Franklin Farm into a museum and community resource. Representatives for the farm plan to use the farmhouse to expand programming in the future.

Dave Baffaro, of Martone, uses a nail gun to frame up the top of the new porch.