Problems with concrete prolong museum renovation

State museum remains open during restoration

Posted: Friday, September 08, 2006

After battling rain and running into a series of obstacles, contractors hope to finish installing a new roofing membrane and a high-performance waterproof coating by early October on the Alaska State Museum's front-entrance canopy.

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The maintenance project, paid for by the state, has passed its 60-day deadline. The entrance has been shrouded in building materials for weeks.

But the museum is still open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"When we first had that structure out there, we had a few people that turned away," said Bruce Kato, the museum's chief curator. "People are still able to get in, especially on (rainy) days like (Thursday) when there aren't a lot of outside activities."

The original project was to repair the canopy's roof and its water-proof surface coating. It soon became clear that water had trickled into the structure and degraded the concrete. Contractors with Silverbow Construction are attempting to replace the deteriorated concrete.

"Water finds its way into concrete," said Bruce Walter, project inspector with Wilson Engineering. "Whenever you have concrete structure that's this old, when you take away the water-proofing material you inevitably come across some concrete restoration work that needs to be done."

Museum officials say they don't know what the final cost of the project will be.

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