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Old building coming down, new building in the future for Cedar Corporation

On May 16th, Cedar Corporation employees had quite a surprise when they showed up at work. A timber beam in the attic area of the oldest section of the building collapsed during the night, causing significant destruction.

Office Manager Kevin Oium had stopped in at the office on his way home from a city council meeting the previous night, and everything was fine. He was among the first to arrive the following morning.

"As soon as I arrived and saw the aftermath, I knew it wasn't going to be a quick fix," said Oium. "Thankfully, it happened when nobody was in the building."

With the help of the Menomonie Fire Department, employees were able to salvage some computers and other equipment, but many items could not be removed.

Photos by the Menomonie Fire Department

There were no signs that anything was wrong before the timber beam fell. The oldest section of the building, which was originally a church, was built in the 1800s; additions were added in 1950 and 1993.

Since the collapse, the intersections and sidewalks around the building have been cordoned off due to the structure's instability.

The city issued an order to raze or repair the building by August 25th. Recently, Cedar Corporation's insurance carrier gave them the go-ahead to take the building down.

"The building will be demolished around August 1st," said Oium. "It's expected to take about two to three weeks for the building to come down and for everything to be cleaned up."

The hope is to have it done and the cordoned-off areas reopened before UW Stout is back in session.

Initially, Cedar Corporation set up a temporary location in the lower level of the city building. Currently, some employees are working out of the Bakke Norman building, while the rest will be relocated to the Jack Jeatran building across from Culver's until a new building can be completed.

Where Cedar Corp will go permanently is still up in the air. They may rebuild in the same spot or seek out a different location, such as the tech park.

Cedar Corporation is a community infrastructure, architectural, and environmental services firm with corporate headquarters in Menomonie and additional offices in Green Bay, Madison, and Cedarburg. Cedar Corporation was founded in 1975 in Menomonie by Ron Pember, John Klovning, Tom Kuester, and Leon Herrick. Currently, they have over 90 employees.


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