Work Continues on Albemarle Co. Office Building, Raises Questions

By: Chris Stover Email
By: Chris Stover Email

August 1, 2012

Construction continues on the Albemarle County Office Building.

“I have never seen such a patchwork of masonry, block, brick, pieces of brick, pieces of block stuck in various places with no rhyme or reason,” said Neale Craft, Project Manager.

The renovations come as the brick façade on the iconic landmark started pulling apart from the walls. But why is it happening? The building was part of the Works Project Administration built in 1939 to put people to work, so part of the deterioration could be from age.

“It was exacerbated by the most recent earthquake but it's kind of like chicken or the egg? Which came first? We're really not sure. We can't really prove that,” said Craft.

County officials say they’ve had trouble with their insurance company.

“It’s a very difficult claim for us to prove,” said Craft.

The work doesn’t qualify for federal aid from FEMA. The questions about the damage are what plague county officials.

Still, contractors will continue taking the façade apart brick by brick over the next few months until the building once again is secure.

The cost of the repairs is just shy of $500,000 and it’s covered in the county budget. The county has a target completion date of early November but expects the repairs to be done even sooner.

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