Carroll County commissioners approved a proposal Thursday to replace a maintenance building that was destroyed by fire last year at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster.
A proposal from Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects will cover design of the structure’s interior at a cost of $45,900.
No one was injured when the county government-owned structure was engulfed in flames in March 2021 and no other buildings were affected, according to the notice of investigation from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Several vehicles were destroyed.
The 40-foot by 140-foot structure had been used by the museum for equipment storage, office space and artifact restoration. It was subsequently demolished.
The Carroll County Office of Procurement sought bids for a “pole barn” structure to replace the facility.
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John Bowers, building construction bureau chief, said the county received three bids from architectural firms. The Design Collective bid $85,800, while Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects bid $45,900. A proposal from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates Architects was deemed non-responsive as the firm did not address the scope of the work, Bowers said.
Bowers said Murphy and Dittenhafer not only put in the lowest bid but also had the most comprehensive and inclusive proposal that addressed the scope of work.
The Farm Museum sits on 140 acres in Westminster and portrays life on a farm in the late 1800s. It exists to promote appreciation of the county’s rural culture. The museum provides demonstrations of 19th century skills, a gift shop, an 18th century barn, garden and fish pond. It also hosts events such as Civil War reenactments, Fourth of July celebrations and the Maryland Wine Festival.
Only outdoor activities are now offered at the museum grounds, due to the pandemic. Admission is free through March 31. Self-guided tours of the property and a scavenger hunt are currently available.