Time – over 80 years – and the elements haven’t been kind to the administration building at the Park District of Forest Park, 7501 Harrison St.
Over the years, different areas of the building have been updated and improved, but the north and west walls have been in need of fairly major structural repairs for some time. The veranda, which serves as part of the roof to the first floor, has experienced drainage issues for years, causing leaks into the pool office and the outdoor bathrooms along the west wall.
These leaks have caused the walls to expand. As a result, each stone of the outdoor wall is being removed piece by piece, repairs made, and the wall rebuilt with the same stones. Once the wall is fixed, the veranda will be repaired and the drainage system replaced.
The expense and complexity of the work kept the project on hold for some time, said Executive Director Jackie Iovinelli. But with the pool being closed for the summer, it seemed a good opportunity to get the project done.
Work began on July 18, and the project should be completed sometime in October.
Finding a contractor that could handle both the roofing and the masonry work, a two-part project, was difficult, said Iovinelli. The veranda and roof repairs or replacements would be based on what was found when the wall was opened up.
“We were not sure what we would find,” Iovinelli said. “With the roof portion we needed to repair drainage issues that were causing structural damage. The entire north and west wall are being taken down and rebuilt from the windows up, and the masons are tuckpointing the rest to the bottom.”
Ryan Russ, park superintendent, was able to find Garland Industries, Inc., a company that works on building envelope systems.
The second impediment to beginning the project sooner was cost. “Because of the masonry work and the time it is a very expensive project,” said Iovinelli. The park district has approved up to $410,000 for the entire project, including both the masonry and roofing, which includes a 10 percent contingency.