Cordova Chronicles: Remodel of old city library and museum continues

Logan Beyers of Facility Contractors displays the thin layers of insulation discovered in the walls of the original City Library and Museum. (Photo by Dick Shellhorn/The Cordova Times)

Remodeling of the old city library and museum, located on the corner of Adams Avenue and Main Street, continues.

Purchased by David Roemhildt of Facility Contractors following completion of the new Civic Center, extensive work on both the interior and exterior is underway.

Recently, the walls facing Main Street were removed, and are being replaced with windows and siding that are part of the design for remodeling project.

Architect’s plans for remodeling of the old City Library and Museum include a clock tower
between the two main structures.

Ironically, the windows that are being installed are rejects from the new Cordova Center. Tests that were conducted during the construction of that facility to insure the windows were waterproof failed, and they had to be redesigned and reinstalled. Turns out it was the installation, rather than the windows themselves, that was at fault.

The windows that had been removed were put out to bid, and Facility Contracting ended up with van loads of “perfectly good windows,” Roemhildt said.

The windows are far more energy efficient than those in the original building, fitting in with the remodeling that is underway. Roemhildt’s crew is discovering much of the insulation in the old building was just a few inches thick and rated R5. That is being replaced with materials increasing the rating to R40, vastly reducing heating costs.

Inside the old City Library, Facility ContractorÕs David Roemhildt points out the layers of insulation that are being installed to increase the building to a R50 level. (Photo by Dick Shellhorn/The Cordova Times)

While part of the remodel included removal of rock planters in front of the walls, the rock work between the two main sections will remain, and a clock tower will be added between the two sections.

Additionally, the roof of the extended walkway along the Adams Avenue side is being replaced with clear poly-acrylic panels to allow more light into the southward facing offices.

The solid sheathing over the top of the covered walkway on the south side of the old City Library is being replaced with clear poly-acrylic panels to allow more light into the offices along that side of the building. (Photo by Dick Shellhorn/The Cordova Times)

One of the businesses to occupy the new spaces will be Ken Roemhildt’s popular Seafood Sales, which for years has operated out of a mobile trailer, often located in the Alaska Commercial Co. parking lot.

Albeit over the protests of David’s dad, the proprietor.

“It wasn’t easy, but we are finally getting him to move inside,” Roemhildt said. “He would come home shivering after selling frozen seafood in freezing weather.”

Silver Bay Seafoods will also have a space in the southern side, with another section available for what Roemhildt called “pop up” retail, in which businesses or individuals can rent for weekend or short-term sales.

The last space of that side is now the office for Facility Contractors, and Roemhildt has cleverly started using the new windows there to make notes in magic marker for schedules of things to be done.

A full-sized certified kitchen that can be utilized for special events is planned in the old museum space.

Roemhildt has also purchased the former Ambrosia Restaurant building adjacent to the Legislative Information Office (LIO) and plans to eventually remodel it in a design similar to the LIO.

A graduate of Cordova High, Class of 1991, Roemhildt is committed to Cordova and proud of his contributions locally.

David Roemhildt of Facility Contracting reviews plans for the remodeling. The CHS Class of Õ91 graduate is enthusiastic about the growth and future of Cordova. (Photo by Dick Shellhorn/The Cordova Times)

He noted in 2014 Facility Contractors had a payroll over a million dollars and employed six local families that have new born kids in Cordova.