Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hailey City Hall is on the move

Historic J.C. Fox building measured for ‘frost heaves’

Express Staff Writer

Evidence suggests the historic J.C. Fox Building in downtown Hailey, which houses the Hailey Public Library and City Hall, is moving slightly, but city officials are saying there is no immediate threat to the structure. Photo by Roland Lane

    It began with doors not shutting correctly, and was then made noticeable by the cracks in sidewalks around the Hailey Public Library. The J.C. Fox Building on the corner of Croy Street and Main Street in Hailey appears to be moving around.
    The J.C. Fox Building was built in 1920 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. The building once housed a saloon on the ground floor and a hospital on the second floor.
    Hot water was at one time pumped two miles from hot springs in Croy Canyon to heat the building. Today it is home to the library, Hailey Police Department, City Hall and government offices.
    Just how much the building is moving, and whether or not it poses a threat to the overall structure, has yet to be determined.
    “We have been assured there is no imminent threat,” said City Administrator Heather Dawson.
     Dawson said that Conrad Brothers Construction Co. has for two weeks been studying the building, which underwent a remodel in the mid-1900s.
    Crews were sent into the basement to look for structural issues, but found none, said Dawson.
    “We actually think the building is being affected by frost heaves,” she said.
    Frost heaves are movements in the earth caused by extreme temperature changes.
    The city has hired survey crews to shoot laser sightings from the center of Main Street to markers on the building. The sightings will be measured for changes in location from now until mid-summer.
    “It could settle back into place,” Dawson said.
    In other Hailey news:
The Sun Valley Real Estate building at the corner of Bullion and River streets remains off limits following a flooding incident that occurred when an underground city water line burst earlier this winter.
    Water flooded the basement of the building, which led to the building being temporarily denied occupancy until a structural engineer declares the building safe.
    “It is in the owner’s [hands] now,” said Hailey Development Director Micah Austin.
    The real estate business is open in an alternate location in central Hailey.

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