More than eight months after a fire ripped through the old Dresden Feed & Supply store, the time has come for a new building to rise from the ashes.
Owner Jim Roman is readying plans to build a 4,000-square-foot steel and stone structure on the business' original site on Seventh Street.
The Dresden business, which mainly sells animal feed to farmers and pet owners, was destroyed in a fire Feb. 12. The cause remains undetermined, according to Shane Cartmill of the state fire marshal's office.
"I'm glad we don't have to think about it anymore, it's happening now," Roman said Wednesday, as site grading began. "We were open at 301 Main St., in the old Longaberger building, two days after the fire, which we were lucky to find. We really never closed, because we still had a lot of feed and fertilizer in storage."
He said while it's been business as usual, all of the grinding and mixing of feed products has been done off-site, at the Granville Mill and at Hamby Farms.
"But it's just not convenient for us," Roman said.
It took several months of getting things organized and waiting for the insurance claim process before the project could get rolling, said Don Eppley, one of the building's owners.
"We've talked to Jim Waymer (of the Mid-East Ohio Building Department) and we were given the go-ahead on what we have to do," Eppley said. "It just takes time getting everything ready."
HP Construction Inc. of Hebron is the contractor on the approximately $300,000 project and Todd Slaboden of TS Architect in Zanesville designed the new structure.
Steve Hildebrand of HP said he had hoped to have the grading completed on Wednesday and the footers by the end of next week.
"If everything goes right, it should be four to five weeks to have the steel building delivered," Hildebrand said, noting that HP uses pre-fabricated steel buildings from NUCOR Building Systems in Waterloo, Ind.
The steel structure will sit on a split-face block foundation and will feature a drive-through entrance on Seventh Street, with exit to High Street.
Hildebrand said after pouring the footers and concrete piers, the concrete might need to cure for seven to 10 days before other work can be performed.
Roman said he's hopeful the project can be completed by mid-December, depending on the weather.