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Roof for Blue Building at least $100K
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The Blue Building needs a new roof, but it is unlikely to receive one.
The city Building and Grounds Committee met Tuesday to discuss its condition, after city administrator Bill Brock, Public Works Department assistant director Brad Hennessee and Alderman Steve Harvey, chair of Building and Grounds, took a walkthrough of the building.
“The roof, in general, needs to be replaced,” said Brock. “It’s gone. We have two roofs on that system. I would suggest tearing off a roof before you start throwing a third roof on top of that. It’s real spongy when you walk across that plywood and you get on the old part of the building. I think the board will have to make a decision. Are you going to put some hefty money into this structure to preserve it or to keep it? Which direction do you want to go?”
The truss roof was put on in 1985 or 1986 when the city did away with the flat roof. The roof was re-shingled in 2001 or 2002, said Brock.
When discussion turned to cost, Brock added it would be in excess of $100,000.
Recently the city established a Tourism Development Board to promote tourism. Consideration will be given to deeding the property over to that board because a local individual has shown interest in purchasing the Blue Building to encourage tourism development.
Harvey says he’s hesitant to put a roof on a building without knowing its future use.
“There are people interested in the building,” said Harvey. “If that came to fruition, all we would want to do is to patch it up and let whomever gets it worry about it. What if, whomever gets it, decides to take the two wings off and goes back to the original house? That’s the only issue I have in spending money on it. If they get it and say, ‘We didn’t need that done anyway’ then we’ve wasted money on a new roof.”
As for the rest of the building, its condition is stable.
“I’ve seen it several times and Brad has too,” said Brock. “Down stairs is probably just like it has always been. Some more plaster is falling off the walls. The basement is a little moldy. It’s kind of scary down there in the dungeon. The main concern is the roof.”
Brock informed the city two weeks ago the roof needed emergency repairs due to some rafters falling and creating a 10-foot by 10-foot area that has sunk in. Brock said he called Keith Bouldin of Tri State Development to begin repairs. Work is set to begin Monday, March 6.
“The sunk-in area that caved in is not as open as I originally thought it was,” said Brock. “After we got out and looked at it, it’s probably shedding a little water but not as much as I had thought. It is leaking. They are going to start (Monday) on that. They got tied up on another job.”
After a closer inspection, Brock now credits the collapse to a leak and a lack of bracing.
“A lot of it was because of a leak and some of it’s because of lack of bracing. The combination of both,” said Brock. “When one beam turned loose the whole bridge pole came down. That’s got to be re-paired.”
While the section that collapsed will be repaired, no decision was made on replacing the entire roof.