REDMOND, OR -- Construction continues on the former Evergreen School, as it is converted into Redmond’s next City Hall. But, crews keep finding surprises, which has led to some delays on the project.
Heather Richards, with the city of Redmond, tells KBND News some of what they’ve discovered highlights the building’s history. "We found two arched doorways that are now inside the building, but were originally the exterior entrances to the building from the backside. They were covered in three layers of ceilings and walls. We’ve removed all that and we’re actually going to restore them because they’re brick archways; very beautiful. And, we’ll just have them restored as hallway archways inside the building and we’ll put interpretive plaques by them."
But, she says not all surprises are positive. "There’s a northwest wing, which was an addition to the building and interestingly, it was built with a couple of different types of products. One wall was built with hollow clay tile, which doesn’t have a lot of structural integrity; so we have to reinforce that." And, she says they planned for asbestos abatement, but didn't realize it would require the removal of the roof. "We knew there was asbestos on the roof; we removed a couple of layers of it. When we got down to the decking, what we found out was the decking had been impregnated with asbestos materials, as well. For instance, where you have nails going through the decking, the asbestos in the layers above it started to migrate down into those nails holes. Because of that, we had to abate the decking for the roof as well, so we took down the whole roof and we hadn’t anticipated having to do that."
Richards is hopeful the delays won’t push completion too far beyond the original goal. "We’re not where we’d hoped to be in the schedule of the construction project; however, it is a 12-month project, so there might be opportunities to win back those days down the road, so to speak." But, because the city isn't in a rush to move out of it's existing facility, she's not worried. "Our end date right now is 12/31/16, however if we have to go into January we can; there’s no financial impact from that, so that’s nice."