Preliminary site work for the construction of Rumson’s new borough hall has begun, and the town last night awarded the $5.8 million construction contract for the job, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

Mayor John Ekdahl told the Press that “The timetable to build a new building is 15 to 18 months, and that’s moving in (at the end of 18 months).”

The borough plans to clone its salmon-hued Memorial Hall, a former 1870s-era home that consultants last year said couldn’t economically be upgraded, on the site of its current parking lot. Then the existing building will be demolished and paved over for parking.

Borough administrator Thomas Rogers tells the Press that keeping employees working in the existing building, as opposed to moving to temporary offices, will save about $500,000.

The contract for the building went to Benjamin R. Harvey Co. of Ocean Township, according to the Press.

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