There are four large holes cut in the ceiling and trenches slicing the floors, but a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Ohio Valley Mall is on track for completion by the Christmas season, according to property manager George Diab.
"We're on schedule, but it's still going to take us another three-and-a-half months to get everything done," he said.
Diab said the Cafaro Co., which owns the Ohio Valley Mall, hasn't authorized him to say how much the renovation is costing, but he acknowledged the price is in the millions of dollars.
Photo by Joselyn King
Ohio Valley Mall property manager George Diab stands with the sign asking mall patrons to be patient with current renovations.
Mall visitors will notice much of the ceiling has been removed inside the building, and that cuts have been made to install four skylights in the building at the major concourses. Diab said completion of the skylights is about a month away.
Workers also are raising the sprinkler system in the ceiling, and the existing fluorescent lights are being replaced with can lights, he continued.
Trenches are being carved into the floors at the mall, where new wiring and plumbing are being placed. These cuts are being covered over with concrete when completed, according to Diab. In the end, carpeting will replace the tiled mall floors.
And while signs within the building ask visitors to "excuse our dust," none is visible at the Ohio Valley Mall. Diab commended crews with contractor B&B Construction of Youngstown, Ohio, who have been working overnight on the property this summer.
"We do have a good contractor," he said. "They make sure every day before they leave and we open that they have everything cleaned up."
In recent days, Diab and his employees have been working out of a temporary office located just inside the back entrance to the mall. They will move back to their regular office space this week, when the mall offices become the first portion of the project to be completed. New carpeting, cabinets and furniture have been placed there.
New restrooms in the rear section of the mall also will open soon, and a third "family" restroom has been added to go along with separate men's and women's restrooms. It features child-size toilets.
Additional security is being placed throughout the mall as well, Diab noted, and the alarm system is being significantly upgraded.
"The way we look at it, we would at least have a record if something happens," he said. "They should have a deterrent effect."