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Archive for Wednesday, June 11, 1997

CONSTRUCTION OF BORDERS UNDER WAY

June 11, 1997

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Construction of a new Borders bookstore should last all summer.

The Stumble Inn has fallen for good.

The popular college watering hole was demolished Tuesday, the first step in weeks-long construction on the "Winter Block," east of New Hampshire between Seventh and Eighth streets.

The work will lead to a new Borders bookstore at Seventh and New Hampshire.

"It will be a little bit of slow demolition to start with," said Pete Jenks, project manager for Rau Construction of Overland Park, the general contractor for the project.

"After about two or three weeks into the project, we should have a better idea of when things will go."

Tuesday's work resulted in a few bricks being knocked out of the upper west wall of the facade of the old livery stable. Borders has agreed to preserve the north and west walls of the historic stable, part of which dates to 1898.

Wint Winter Jr., a Lawrence attorney representing Winter Inc., said the facade would be repaired and reinforced before the project was completed.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being 50 bricks (replaced) before it's over," he said. "The whole facade is going to have to be reinforced."

Also, on Tuesday morning, cable television for some customers was interrupted about 15 minutes while crews from Sunflower Cablevision activated a newly buried cable along the alley east of New Hampshire from Seventh to Eighth.

The old cable, which is above ground, must be removed to make way for the Borders project, said James Risner, chief technician at Sunflower.

Jenks said initial phases of the construction will include slow removal of buildings near the stable.

Then, he said, an elaborate support system would be installed to ensure that the walls of the stable do not fall down.

The support system will include about 16 large steel beams that will be secured diagonally from the outside walls and anchored to the street along Seventh and New Hampshire, he said.

Steel beams running parallel to the walls and connected by trusses will support the walls from the inside, Jenks said.

"We've got a very, very complex and expensive system that incorporates both the permanent and temporary structure," Jenks said.

He said supports may go up in about a month and should remain for several weeks.

Steve Cross, project manager for Agree Realty, has said that Borders plans to be open by Thanksgiving.

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