Razing clears path to senior living center

Construction workers with Knies Construction, Jasper, razed the former Katter Cleaners building in Huntingburg on Wednesday. It took the workers less than two hours to tear down the building along with the chapel of the former Core of Huntingburg building, which is being renovated into senior housing.


Herald Staff Writer

HUNTINGBURG — The chapel of the former Core of Huntingburg building and the nearby Katter Cleaners building were razed Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, rubble covered the area where the former cleaning company and nursing home’s religious center once stood. What remained standing was the main structure at the northwest corner of Fourth and Van Buren streets. A construction worker used an excavator to clear the brick and concrete from the demolition site.

It took less than two hours to tear down the buildings. But it took weeks to prepare for the demolition.

“We needed brick from the chapel to do the brick work on other places” of the structure, said Scott Burgess, executive director of Tri-Cap. “So we were chipping it away so as to not destroy the brick.”

Tri-Cap is renovating the former nursing home into Stork Place, a complex of senior living apartments.

Stork Place will have 17 two-bedroom apartments spread among three floors. A community room, storage space for each renter and a leasing office will be in the basement. The renovation is being funded with a $4.5 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant Tri-Cap received last year. The two buildings were knocked down to make space for a courtyard for the complex.

The brick salvaged from the chapel will be used to patch holes in the rest of the building. Old vents and duct work that weren’t needed were removed from the structure, leaving holes in the exterior. Those will be filled in with the brick.

“It’s Huntingburg brick. You cannot find a match,” Burgess said. “We found that the brick on the chapel is the same as the rest of the building.”

While brick on the chapel was being removed and preserved, the main building was emptied and gutted. At certain angles, onlookers can see straight through the building by looking through the many openings that once had windows.

“Most of the demolition inside the building is complete,” Burgess said.

“There was very little, if anything, that could be used from the interior. The good thing is that the concrete frame is completely sound.”

Work will continue in the interior. The debris from the demolished buildings is being removed and the area will be filled in with topsoil.

The renovation is on track to be completed this fall, Burgess said.

Contact Candy Neal at cneal@dcherald.com.

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