Work is beginning to stabilize Meridian's Threefoot Building, which is slated to be a high-rise hotel.
In order for renovations to start, crews must first make sure the structure is safe for workers and others.
It's part of the overall project to renovate the Threefoot building. According to the mayor's office, securing the building's facade has become an immediate need.
Officials say there are safety concerns about the potential of bricks falling from the building, damaging nearby structures or injuring pedestrians.
"Definitely, if we don't take the brick down there is a potential that it could fall," said Paul Merritt of Southern Preservation Systems of Snellville, Ga. "What we do is repair old buildings, secure them. This has water problems with the brick veneer coming off of the terracotta back-up wall, which will cause more water to come in and cause more damage."
For the next two months, work will be focused on the corners of the building from the 14th floor down to the 12th floor. You will actually see the crew scaling the building Monday. For now they are securing the building enough to begin work.
"We have been hired to take the brick down, take the terracotta off, secure it and dry it in, so it will be weather tight," Merritt said.
Before he saw the Threefoot Building, Merritt said he imagined the damage to be more severe than it is. He said he he has worked on buildings that date back to the same period and their conditions were much worse. But this, he says, doesn't take away from the importance.
This part of the work will cost the city around $90,000. It was declared an emergency repair by former mayor John Robert Smith, and for that reason, council approval wasn't necessary.