The old girl is 72 years old now. She's been sitting in the same place all that time, a friendly greeter with her doors open wide for every visitor that comes her way. But the harbingers of age are beginning to show a little: a crack here, a break there. Advances in technology have made her show her age even more. She's not as good as she used to be. But Weehawken's Town Hall, the edifice that serves as the heart of the township, is about to get a spruce-up. The township council has approved a $2.1 bond issue that will enable the township to make significant repairs to the township's main office building, including upgrades that will fit under federal regulations established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under federal law, every municipality is required to upgrade its facilities so that every building has full handicapped access, both with entrance and exits, as well as restroom facilities. Town Hall has not met the standards established by the ADA, so the facelift and massive improvements were a long time coming. "We went through every one of our public buildings and we were totally devoid of meeting any codes, especially ADA standards," Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said. "In our other buildings, like the library or Weehawken Stadium, we were able to shut them down to make the improvements. But with Town Hall, it's our main source of operations. We can't shut it down. So we're going to make the improvements systematically." Turner added, "Town Hall has gone through some exterior improvements in the past, but it's never had any interior improvements. And it's desperately needed." The improvements, which are expected to begin sometime before September, will mean a complete overhaul for Town Hall. It will eventually include installing new bathrooms, including handicapped access bathrooms, an elevator, an entirely new electrical system, a new communication system, a new communication system for the police department, and emergency lighting in case of a blackout. "The bathrooms don't just need to be made handicapped access, but they need a complete overhaul," Turner said. "And right now, we don't know if it can be done. We would have to enlarge each bathroom, because right now, they're too small." And that's not even the biggest obstacle that future architects and construction workers will find. Finding a location for the building's new elevator might be the largest puzzle. "The biggest dilemma will be a way to put that elevator," Turner said. "When we put the elevator in, we're going to lose a lot of office space. There was talk of adding an extension, but we decided that we have to make the existing building work, that it's just too expensive for an extension. So we have to work around the existing building, yet find a place for the elevator." Turner is fairly certain that $2.1 million should cover the complete cost of the renovations. In the township's other major renovation projects, like the public library and Weehawken Stadium, there were state and federal funds available to offset the cost. "But there isn't funding available for improvements to public buildings," Turner said. "We're going to do a lot of searching to find low-interest loans. We wanted to make sure that we didn't add more to the debt burden." Turner was excited to get the first step of the project done. "Getting the bond issue starts the ball rolling," he said. "Now, we can hire the architects and get things started. We want to make the exterior improvements by September and in the winter, start working on the interior. But we don't want to lose the character of the building. Especially the council chambers, which I think is so majestic and one of the finest in the state. We're going to do whatever it takes to maintain the building as it is."