It has been a long road getting to this point, but the dance hall of the Okawville American Legion Post 233 will be completely demolished to make way for a entirely new structure. Project Manager and Public Information Officer Andy Jankowski explained that a recent inspection of the crawl space showed the floor structure was not sound enough to serve a commercial building.
The board hoped the floor could be preserved and a new wall and roof structure be built over the top of it, Jankowski said. However this would prove too costly to attempt. They also found the brick piers supporting the floor structure were failing. The floor structure and foundation dates back to 1893 when the building was an opera house. The hall has been closed for approximately a year due to a failed roof truss.
Additionally, the Legion hired an abatement company, which recently completed the removal of the asbestos from the hall. Asbestos now will not to be impacted by the reconstruction effort. This expense was just under $15,000.
During demolition and reconstruction, the bar and kitchen will remain open. This will be accomplished by the erection of a temporary weather tight wall separating the work zone from the kitchen and the bar. In addition, electrical service that enters the complex from the north will need to be rerouted from the work zone so that the bar and kitchen can remain operating.
Read full details in this week’s issue.