Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, February 9, 1998

Winsted to study city hall building


Winsted City Council approved the first phase of a study to determine what to do with the city hall building Tuesday.

During precursory inspections, several structural engineers thought the building was structurally sound.

At the request of the city hall committee, the council approved an in depth study of the soundness of the building. Cost for the study was will be $5,000.

The study, termed Phase I, will include:

At a past meeting, members of the council stated a study of the brick was done in 1990, and the brick was said to last anther 25 years.

Committee member Dave Mochinski questioned where that number came from. "I talked with the company that did the study, and they don't know where that number came from," he said.

Council Member Bonnie Quast and Mayor Don Guggemos concurred 25 years was mentioned at a meeting, but could not place where they got that information.

As to the issue of the building made of St. Mary brick and the decay of the brick at the city hall, Gary Turpening, and architect with RCM , said the manner in which St. Mary brick was made was very common 100 years ago. He said with proper maintenance the brick could last "a long time."

Also at a previous meeting, the idea of sealing the brick was brought up. Turpening said disagreed that should be done, because letting the brick dry naturally should be enough to slow the decay.

If the building is added on to, he said there should be enough brick left over from the renovation to replace brick as needed. He thought a maximum of 5 percent of the brick needed to be replaced.

Mochinski pointed out there has been legislative changes since 1990, and there is grant money available to the city. He said the rule limiting the amount of money based on per capita income no longer applies, and the state historical society has grants up to $75,000.

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