After nearly a century, Fort Jackson receiving repairs

Building restoration project to be completed by end of summer 2018

The Fort Jackson building in Waynesburg has been through a lot in the past 92 years.

The Fort Jackson building was built in 1926 in the place of the Downy House, which burned down the year before, according the official Greene County website.

But after standing for nearly a century, the Greene County Commissioners noticed the Fort Jackson building is in need of repair. Blair Zimmerman, chairman on the Greene County Board of Commissioners, said the problems were first detected by people working in the building a little over a year ago. Greene County brought in an engineering firm, the EADS Group, to evaluate the issues. Incidentally, this same firm has worked on numerous projects, including the Flight 93 National Memorial.

“Some people who worked in the building noticed some stuff,” said Zimmerman. “Then maintenance checked it out and they preceded to bring in some experts on the particular problems.”

After evaluation, The EADS Group determined some of the brick in certain areas were not tied in to the building correctly and needed to be remounted, according to Chief Clerk Jeffrey Marshall.

“When it was constructed, [the brick] wasn’t tied in properly. Part of the building wasn’t built the way it should’ve been,” said Marshall.

Actions were taken after the evaluation to make sure the building would not be dangerous to those inside, said Marshall.

“The spring of 2017, the building was surveyed to evaluate the current situation,” said Marshall. “At that point in time, a fix was engineered to keep it where it was, so the safety was taken care of and wouldn’t get any worse. That gave [the contractor] time this winter to put together the permanent repair plans.”

The commissioner’s goal, after determining the problem with the building, was finding a contractor to fix it, which was accomplished through a bidding process.

“We advertise, and they come in and look at the project, and then they submit a bid, and then the bid is opened to the public,” said Zimmerman. “We usually go with the lowest bid, as long as it’s a reputable company.”

Mariani & Richards Inc., a restoration contractor, won the bid and will begin work March 15, according to Zimmerman.

This project is being paid for by multiple sources, including taxes, money in the commissioners’ general account and funds received from Pennsylvania’s Act 13.

Part of Act 13 puts an “impact fee on every well drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale formation,” according to the State Impact Pennsylvania website. A portion of this fee goes to The Marcellus Legacy Fund, which is used by the state for environmental and infrastructure projects.

“Anytime you start working on a project,” said Zimmerman. “You start tearing stuff apart and sometimes you find more, but it’s approximately $699,000.”

The restoration, according to Marshall should be done by the end of the summer.