Update: KWWL building construction gains momentum - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: KWWL building construction gains momentum

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The KWWL building in Waterloo is experiencing some big changes, inside and out.

Many people have seen the transformation outside the downtown building.

Scaffolding went up earlier in the spring, as the renovation of the 102-year-old building is starting to take shape.

You can see the new energy-efficient windows in place from the street, and new windows are set to go in place on the ground floor too.

However, when you walk inside the building, it's not exactly what you see, but what you hear that will get your attention.

It's the sound of progress, reconstruction, a little destruction, slowly but surely coming together, with more light at the end of the tunnel every day.

KWWL Chief Engineer Dan Whealy said it might not seem like much now, but the majority of the work is going on where the new studio and newsroom will sit.

The deadline for that project is Nov. 1.

"It's here, it's happening, and it's something we're looking forward to the completion," Whealy said.

Since a portion of the project is paid by state and federal tax credits, Whealy said every detail of the building -- from lighting to windows -- will preserve and enhance the building's rich history.

A good portion of the project is paid by KWWL's owner, Quincy Media.

"We want to make sure this building shines when it's done, and it's done correctly. So, we have not been taking any shortcuts in areas that are important to us as far as historical accuracy," Whealy said.

Perhaps the biggest part of this project is a giant hole in the building, from the basement to the top floor.

Contractors have been working for several weeks, drilling through several floors of concrete to make way for the stairs.

After that, contractors say they're looking forward to putting in the new elevator.

"Demolition of the old elevator is going to be a fun process I suppose to see. Taking it out and patching the new floor will be a fun process once we get to it," Huff Contracting Site Foreman, Austin Nicolaus said.

Phase one of the project, including the building's studio and newsroom on the second floor is scheduled to be finished Nov. 1.

But, phase two which includes reconstruction to the building's first floor where the sales department will be moved and the exterior is set to wrap up July 1, 2017.

According to station managers, they're reviewing the possibility of turning the top floor into loft spaces for rent.

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