After almost a year of work to repair and upgrade the residential apartments at Parkview, it is almost done.
According to Fallon County Commissioner Steve Baldwin, the wait by the residents has almost ended.
“We are still on track, so hopefully we’ll get folks back in there shortly.”
“There is the clean up after the construction. Then we’ll get everything vacuumed up, shampooed and ready to go,” he said.
Some of the exterior finishing work can even be done after the interiors are completed and the residents have started to return to the building, according to Baldwin.
In late April, the workmen were installing carpet in a couple of the rooms and have put all the counter tops in, the commissioner explained. “They are getting down to the nitty gritty inside the apartments.”
The workers are still finishing up the interior painting, he added at the time.
The complex had been in need of repair for a long time before three Fallon County Commissioners told the residents in mid-June 2020 that the repairs would start as soon as the residents would be able to move out of the building.
Commissioners Deb Ranum, Roy Rost and Baldwin explained that the project would be at least eight months or longer to finish, but the conditions in the building would be vastly improved when they would move back in. According to Ranum, the complex has been in need of repair for a number of years and it has always been put off.
“We have known for years that we would have to fix it up. We just kept putting it off and putting it off and doing other projects.”
According to the people in the building, some of the needed repairs include a carpet with gaps covered by strips of duct tape and also has exposed nails coming through. The residents have also cited problems with drainage where water comes through the walls into the basement and also problems keeping the rooms warm or cool, depending on the season.
Rost noted that the residents would lose some of their closet space to have the forced air installed.
By early July, the residents in the Parkview Retirement Complex were already relocating and the renovations had started.
According to Chad Sutter of SDI Architects + Design in Miles City, local officials and the contractor planned get started before the end of July.
Sutter is the project designer for the more than $2 million renovation and repair of the oldest section of Parkview Retirement Complex. T.W. Clark Construction of Billings won the bid for the project in February with a $2,062,706 offer.
In addition to addressing problems with water drainage and damage, the contractors will also be updating the air conditioning, plumbing and fixtures in the 12 apartments in the older Parkview 1 building which was built in the 1980s.
According to Sutter, the project would not only improve the conditions for the residents but make changes that would add to the longevity of the complex.
“We are going to address some problems they are having with water on the outside of the building finding its way into the inside of the building. There are some structural problems with the foundation on the south side of the building. So that is going to be excavated and a new overlay foundation is going to be added to that south base,” he said before the project started.
“The new foundation is to fix a big crack. There are some pretty substantial cracks in the foundation on the south side of the building. It is a structural problem that we need to stop so that we don’t keep expanding the crack,” he explained in 2020.
The water problem has several causes, Sutter said. “They have some ground water that is making its way in from underground and coming up. Also, there is close to 26,000 square feet of roof that drains into the courtyard. It is coming off the nursing home, the hospital, Parkview 1, the new expansion that was done. There is a whole bunch of them trying to get into a manhole and the storm drain. When you get the big heavy rains, it is not able to take (all the water) right now.
There is some water damage to the main floor, he added. “That is going to get repaired. The carpet (on the main floor) has some wrinkles in it because it has gotten wet so many times. The plywood that is underneath it has warped and delaminated so it needs to be replaced.”
There is more to the project than just repairing water damage, Sutter said.
“The other portion to this project will be upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. It has hydraulic hot water heat and the pipes have been failing and springing leaks all over the building for the last probably ten years. It has gotten to the point where it is not worth fixing. We are looking at replacing all of the heating and air conditioning in all of the 12 apartments,” he explained in 2020 just before the repairs were started.
When the residents return they will notice some small changes, especially in closet space. “It isn’t very much, about 18 inches by 24 inch space for the ductwork,” Sutter explained.