Preparations to restore the damaged Maytag buildings at Legacy Plaza to their former glory are well underway.
Kim Didier, executive director of DMACC Business Resources, told Newton News on Thursday, Sept. 3, that crews recently wrapped up the first phase of mitigation, or what can be more easily described as the “cleanup phase.” And there was a fair amount to clear out after the Aug. 10 derecho.
All of the drywall from Building 2 has been removed; the same did not happen in Building 1 since there was less water damage. The challenge for DMACC, which owns the buildings, is to keep them dry. Crews have since installed membranes to protect the buildings from any further rain forecasts, Didier said.
Crews have also enclosed the roof of Building 1 to prevent any additional water damage. Rafters from Building 2 were salvaged and used to fix the roof of the adjoining Building 1. Didier stressed that visitors of Legacy Plaza do not enter the construction zone, which is marked with signs and barricades.
The derecho caused minor damages to the roof of Building 16, both skywalks and the roof of DMACC’s Career Academy. However, the most significant damages came from Buildings 1 and 2 of Legacy Plaza, the latter of which housed local businesses The Cellar Peanut Pub and Sequoia Fitness.
Both establishments were displaced. Sequoia Fitness was able to move to a retail space on the east side of Building 18 and maintain its yoga sessions the weekend following the storm. However, the Peanut Pub cannot relocate yet, but has operated part-time from a kiosk next to Gezellig Brewing Company.
“We don’t have an alternative space for that until we can get Building 2 back into commission,” Didier said.
Weddings and wedding receptions that were scheduled at Building 2 have been offered the room on the first floor of Building 16 as an alternative space for the wedding. Two weekends ago, Didier said, Legacy Plaza hosted its first wedding since the derecho.
It’s been a long cleanup process for DMACC. Several items inside the buildings had to be identified as “salvageable” or be removed entirely. Those that were salvageable needed to be cleaned and placed in storage elsewhere. Interiors and exteriors of the buildings needed to be scrubbed clean.
Now that items have been taken out and inventoried, Didier said the next phase is to “build back the shell of Building 2,” which means identifying the type of brick and the specific mortar recipe used in the historically preserved, former Maytag buildings. Some intact bricks were salvaged from the storm.
The far west end of the Legacy Plaza courtyard will be closed until Building 2 is “shelled in,” Didier said. Scaffolding, too, has been set up on the western side of Building 2, and its windows have been equipped with what is essentially insulation to prevent any further breakage.
DMACC’s first priority is to enclose the roof of Building 2 before winter. Once crews are assured there won’t be any possibility of water damage, they will move toward more internal work of Building 2.
At this time, DMACC has no official estimated cost of damages from insurance.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org