MOUNT VERNON — It took longer than expected for work to get started in the renovation of 133 S. Main St.; but after five months of work, the project is moving along on schedule.
Ron Stull, director of building services for Knox Community Hospital, said they are aiming for occupation by July 4 and they may even be a little ahead of that pace.
“We’ve really just finished demolition and started reconstruction,” Stull said.
They’re keeping the floors and most of the brickwork, but they are replacing the electrical system, the plumbing and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Stull said they have been taking almost everything out, have built new concrete block stairwells at the front and rear of the building, and are in the process of building a new elevator shaft in the same location as the old one.
As they have removed older building materials, they have uncovered the outline of stairs along the south wall of the building. Those stairs must have been removed long ago, Stull said.
As you go upstairs, less has been done on each floor. But access to them is limited, for now, to ladders and the power scaffold outside the front door. Once the stairs are in, access to the upper floors will be much easier and work will proceed more quickly.
Stull said they have not encountered any unexpected problems. Or, rather it might be more accurate to say they haven’t encountered anything beyond what you would expect in a 160-year-old building.
The work has revealed that the building was enlarged about three times, Stull said, pointing out on the north wall of the building how there are four distinct patterns of brick work.
The brick that is in good shape will be left exposed. One section that is not will be plastered over.
“We’re excited to be part of downtown development,” Stull said. “And we’re excited about the building. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s done.”