- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - The old lodge at Credit Island looks more like a lodge now. The community room is the most dramatically different. The second-floor ceiling has been removed, so the exposed upper-floor windows nearly drown the room in natural light.

A pair of added windows on the lodge’s south side bring in even more light, and the result is an optical illusion of the Mississippi River pressing to get in.

The new focal point, which was easily lost in the under-groomed grime of age, is the community room fireplace, the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/1GViAfc ) reported.

When general contractor Swanson Construction of Bettendorf removed the second floor in that portion of the building, the old brick fireplace was extended from floor to ceiling. The effect is a stand-out feature that has purpose.

“It was converted to gas a long time ago, but I don’t know whether it was used,” Steve Swanson, owner of the company, said of the fireplace. “We’re updating that old gas service, and the new brick portion ties into the original stack.”

The million-dollar renovation of the historic lodge, which nearly burned into oblivion during a May 2013 fire, is about a month away from completion. But the next month will be crammed with work and workers.

“It’s going to continue to be a busy place,” Swanson said. “We will be painting the brick in the community room, and we have a sprinkler system to install. We have work on the mechanicals to do and the flood vents to install. We have some ornamental steel going in the community room as well.

“Right now, we’re waiting on windows. That’s what we want for Christmas, windows.”

Fortunately, there have been few surprises. And one surprise was a good one.

“We were late getting in here, because of the flood, and the water had been all the way up to here,” Swanson said, pointing to a water line three feet up the fireplace. “But based on what we saw after the last flood, cleanup won’t be that big of a deal.”

Besides, many of the updates were added in anticipation of floodwater getting back inside the lodge. In future floods, the water won’t be quite as unwelcome.

A total of 50 flood vents are being installed throughout the building - about 10 inches from the floor. When the Mississippi reaches the lodge, the water will push against the vents. The pressure then will trigger a float inside each vent, which will trip it open. Water will simply move through the building, and anything left behind will find one of several floor drains.

“The floors are staying, and they clean up nicely,” Swanson said. “This building has concrete, steel, masonry, PVC and aluminum windows. None of it will be devastated by flooding.”

With new staircases going in, new water service for sprinklers and subcontractors in nearly every corner, city officials have stayed on top of their investment.

“I come down two or three times a week,” said Eric Gravert, design and construction coordinator for Davenport Public Works. “I check in to see if there are any questions that can be addressed immediately.”

So far, the summer flood has been the source of the most delays, but Swanson said the rehab appears to be back on track. The target date for completion, minus some exterior painting that will have to wait until spring, is the end of January.

“We’re getting there,” Swanson said. “Once we get the windows in, we can get some heat going in here. We’ve got a lot going on, which means a lot is getting done.”

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com


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