231-Page Hoosier Desk Building Report Highlights Several Concerns Including An Unstable Wall
JASPER (NNDC) – A 231-page report released by Ferdinand-based Universal Design Associates says there are several problems with the former Hoosier Desk building and attributes those problems to the age of the now more than 100-year old building.
Many of those concerns were voiced by Jonathon Pund of Universal Design at a joint meeting of both the Jasper Library and the city’s Arts Commission boards back on June 8th.
The most glaring of the problems is a leaning and bowed wall on the three-story section of the 130,000 square foot building (pictured). At the June 8th meeting, Pund said the entire first floor of the three-story section of the building was “not worth keeping.”
Meanwhile, Ralph Pund, a principal with Universal Design, said at the meeting it wasn’t “if” the wall would eventually fall, but “when.”
Ken Sternberg, who co-owns the building with his brother Paul, questioned the validity of the report saying the wall was unstable. He said he had a qualified mason look at the wall. Sternberg said the mason told him the wall could be repaired and not have to be torn down.
The Universal Design report does say the wall could be repaired, but the repairs would be costly. The report recommends tearing down the three-story section because it is such poor condition.
Dean Vonderheide, president of the Jasper Library Board, says his panel and the Arts Commission will have to decided on whether or not the needed repairs to the entire building are affordable. Those costs are in addition to the purchasing and then renovating the building into a new Jasper Cultural Center.
Vonderheide says he is hopeful repair costs will be available by the time the library meets July 9th.
The board hopes to vote on whether or not the Hoosier Desk property should be pursued as a new location for the Jasper Public Library (shared with the Jasper Arts Commission), or whether of not it will pursue options at the library’s current site on Main Street.
Mike Jones, president of the Jasper Arts Commission, says his group would like to stay downtown and be an integral part of expanding the arts in downtown Jasper as part of the city’s new comprehensive Downtown & Riverfront Master Plan, however, he says moving to a renovated library on Main Street right now is not being considered.
BELOW IS A LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE UNIVERSAL DESIGN REPORT FOR EACH SECTION OF THE CURRENT HOOSIER DESK BUILDING.
Section B – The difference in floor elevation is too large to use a grinder or leveling compound to level the floor. It would need to be removed and after the fill is determined to be properly compacted, a new slab chould be placed after testing. If the fill is improperly compacted or organic material is found, the fill should be removed and new, properly compacted stone should be added before a new slab is placed. Also, the south and west walls should be demolished and replaced. For the north and east walls to remain, all existing cracks need to be filled and reinforced. The roof should be replaced.
Section C – All existing cracks in the north wall should be repaired and mortar joints should be tuck-pointed above the window. Steel lintels should be prepped and painted and the gap between the steel lintel and the brick above should be grouted. Also, install weeps as required.
Section D: Reinforce or replace existing headers and repair cracks in the east wall. Repair existing cracks and fill the existing wall opening. Also, adjust the slope of the roof to ensure proper drainage and patch it on the northeast corner.
Section E – The existing concrete slab needs to be removed. Compaction testing needs to be completed before replacing the floor. Columns need to be replaced to fix failed columns and to level the roof. New concrete footings need to be installed under each column. The rubber roof needs replaced.
Section F – Repair all the cracks in the walls and repair the damaged portion of the wall supporting the concrete beam. The east wall should be demolished and replaced. The rubber roof should be replaced.
Section G – The existing concrete slab needs to be removed and replaced to obtain a level floor. This will require compaction testing and if testing indicated improper compaction or organic material, fill must be replace before the floor is replaced. Reinforce broken rafters. The east wall should be demolished and replaced.
Section H – The existing concrete slab can remain but needs to be leveled with leveling compound. Replace rafters with properly sized ones and demolish and replace roof. Repair all existing cracks in walls.
Section I – Repair rafters and install a new beam and columns to replace unstable double cantilever configuration. Replace a failed reinforced wood beam. Remove and replace failed section of south wall. Replace the asphalt shingle roof with a single membrane rubber roof.
Section J – In order to save this section, the trusses, purlins, walls and rubber roof would need to be replaced. It is possible to replace all these items, however the components needing to be replaced make up the majority of the building and replacing them would be very expensive. It would be more feasible to completely demolish this section and build a new building.
Section K – Replace existing roof.
In Section L: The floor needs leveled and areas that have experienced extreme settling should be replaced. The fill should be tested for proper compaction and organic material. If it is improperly compacted or has organic material, the fill will need removed and new compaction material will need to be installed. Install a timber frame structure within the existing structure to stabilize the walls. Repair all existing cracks in the wall and tuck-point all exterior mortar joints. A timber frame structure should be installed to stabilize the walls. The shingle roof should be replaced.
Section M – The first floor wood structure should be completely removed. The crawl space under the first floor should be filled with compacted granular fill and a new slab floor installed. The south wall and interior columns need to be raised as required to re-level the structure. Replace existing roof. The second and third floor floors need to be releveled by removing the floor and subfloor, shimming the joists and replacing the floor. Replace the existing rubber roof. The walls will need bracing after they are straightened.
Section N – The floor needs leveled on the first floor and can be done with leveling compound. The steel structure should be raised and grouted to re-level the structure. Replace rotting sections of roof sheathing. Replace the roof.
Section O – Replace the rotted floor structure with material to match existing. Columns should be raised to re-level the floors on all three levels. Replace existing roof and add an overflow drain. Replace the stairs and landings.
Section P – The floors can be leveled with leveling compound. Replace the existing hardwood floors. Replace and repair rotting roof sheathing as well as rafters that have rot damage. This roof is 22 years old and should be replaced. The east wall needs to be anchored to the building structure at the roof at and each floor.
Section Q – This section is in very poor condition. More specifically the south wall of Section Q is very unstable. It may be possible, but attempting to save the south wall would be very dangerous and expensive. Section Q should be demolished and a new building should be built if needed.