Library goes wall-free during construction

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The current state of Cape Girardeau's library expansion may seem shocking.

All but two small sections of the library's exterior walls have been removed. What remains are concrete columns holding the library's roof. The two remaining rooms are scheduled for demolition as well.

"We kept one room for heat and the other room for temporary electric," said Brad Zoellner, the site supervisor for Kiefner Brothers, Inc., the company responsible for constructing the library's $9 million expansion.

Zoellner said the radical demolition is not common -- this is the first he's seen in years -- but necessary in this case.

The south, north and west walls needed to come down to accommodate extensions to the building, he said.

The windowless east wall is destined for 12 windows.

"We could have kept some small parts of the east wall," he said. "But those are pretty small pieces of the puzzle."

He said it made sense to remove the east wall so the building's future brick work would match.

On Wednesday, Zoellner's crew kept busy by pouring the cement footings for the building's southern expansion.

The construction will double the size of the library. In addition to new walls and rooms, the building is getting new plumbing, and a new heating and cooling system.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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