Eagle River Town Center Building reopened; library to open soon

Monday, June 10, 2019 - 11:16
  • Municipal offices in the Eagle River Town Center Building have reopened after the building was declared safe by the State Fire Marshall’s office. The south end of the building had been closed since May 10 when possible earthquake damage was uncovered. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

Staff returned to their offices inside the Eagle River Town Center Building after the structure was again deemed safe to occupy by the Alaska State Fire Marshal.

The local parks and recreation and street maintenance departmens are back in their normal spaces, as is the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. The Chugiak-Eagle River Library is also in the process of re-opening, but will remain closed until staff can get caught up.

“Staff has been allowed back in to the building and is working hard to ensure it’s ready to welcome back our patrons,” wrote Anchorage Library Community Relations Manager Misty Rose Nesvick in a Thursday email.

Patrons with items checked out have been asked to either return them at other library branches or keep them until the library reopens. Nesvick said patrons can check the library’s website at anchoragelibrary.org for updates and will inform the public as soon as the branch is up and running again — which will be the end of next week at the latest.

Offices such as the Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation and the Eagle River Street Maintenance Departments, as well as the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, located inside the south end of the municipal-owned building and have resumed normal operations. The municipal offices had been working out of rented trailers in the parking lot during the closure, which began May 10 when one end of the mall was “red-tagged” after possible structural damage was uncovered as a result of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018.

The south end of the building which houses the library, chamber of commerce and municipal offices has been closed since, as has the vacant north end. The middle section of the building, which houses the Alaska Club, remained open after engineers deemed it safe, said Robin Ward, director of the municipality’s Real Estate Department.

The building was closed in order to remove loose exterior veneer and inspect the interior of the structure for further damage. That has been done, Ward said, and the news appears to be good.

“The walls have been exposed and the structural engineer has inspected the structure for

Damage,” Ward wrote in a Thursday email. “Three areas have been identified in need of repair on the north and south ends of the building, but the structure withstood the earthquake extremely well. The repairs are in progress and they do not impact the occupancy of the building. The exterior will receive new exterior siding this summer or fall.”

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