Expansion Work on Dorset’s H.N. Williams Store Underway
H.N. Williams in Dorset has announced that Phase 1 of their expansion plan – preparing the terrain for the addition of gas pumps and the construction of a 3,200 square foot addition – is near completion. This first phase of three included demolition of a building, blasting through ledge, installation of underground gas holding tanks, and the laying of concrete. Phase 1 utilized the efforts and expertise of several local companies and agencies including TAM, Mach’s Blasting, CPI Concrete, Star Construction, Leggett Custom Homes, Pete Haggarty Construction and the Dorset Volunteer Fire Department.
The first step of Phase 1 was the demolition of what was once the Roger Rumney Machine Shop which stood on the north side of the existing Store. Decades ago, the building was used to build snow-making hydrants, but has been used inconsistently since. With that area clear, the terrain was ready to be prepared for the installation of underground gas tanks. This task included calling in experts to blast through ledge.
Billy Brownlee, proprietor of the iconic H.N. Williams Store, reports that dynamite-induced explosions were necessary to blow through underlying rock ledge and create room for the safe installation of two 15,000-gallon underground gas tanks into 13-foot deep trenches. “I sincerely thank the Dorset community for their tolerance and understanding as we move through all the phases of this project, especially their patience during the blasting which created loud booms. The blasting was a vital step towards the overall completion of the project. I’m happy to report the booms are finished.”
With the demolition, blasting and large holding tanks in place, concrete is scheduled to be laid in early May. Then the project moves to Phase 2 – construction of a new post-and-beam building and a canopied gas pump area. “We will offer regular and ethanol-free gas, diesel, and have an electric car charging station. The charming aesthetics of Dorset and H.N. Williams has been respected in the design,” says Brownlee. Phase 3 will be integrating of all the new systems and spaces. Anticipated completion date of the entire project is September 2019.
Brownlee began thinking of the expansion project about two years ago after contemplating ways to enhance offerings to the community and evolve with the times. The tradition of H.N. Williams was started by his great, great, great, great, great grandfather in 1840, and has been continuously operating through six generations. The current store and deli will be open through all phases of the construction, with no interruption of current goods and services, including the summer Dorset Farmers Market on Sundays, which opened on May 12.