ALBANY, Ore. (KMTR) - A school nearly a century old is getting a much needed makeover to make it seismically sound.
Central School, built in 1915, is located on SW Ninth Street. It hosts about 190 students grades kindergarten through fifth.
"It's structurally sound but its structurally sound to 1915," explained Albany School District executive assistant Jim Haggart.
Because it's a historic site, crews cannot change anything on the exterior.
"Part of that is replacing some of the glass panes, the exits, its tying the flooring to the walls," said Haggart. "Think of it as building a house within a brick building."
The school has been gutted and replacements, improvements and new installations are well underway.
Central is one of three schools in the state of Oregon granted state money to take action in improving its structure. The project is costing $1.5 million dollars, none of which is coming from the school district.
"That's not something we could have afforded," said Haggart.
"If the ground were to start shifting, you have all this weight up top, and you'd get this parellel-o-gram effect, a scissor effect, it would virtually liquify the mortar and the masonry would all just fall apart," explained contractor Yohn Baldwin.
Baldwin General Contracting out of Albany began the work in June. They said they have come a long way since then. Baldwin, the owner of the company, told NewsSource 16 there are a lot of public buildings that are opting to do such work.
"I think it has to do with public awareness," said Baldwin. "I think it's money well spent. Preserving a building for another 100 years? It's a good thing to do."
Haggart said the construction will be done in time for the next school year.