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Damaged GCC facility reopens Jan. 7
Germanna prepares to open parking deck and reopen earthquake-damaged building

 Workers finish the parking deck near the newly repaired Dickinson Building at Germanna Community College's Spotsylvania campus.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 12/6/2012

By PAMELA GOULD

Movers carried file cabinets and other office furniture into the front door of the V. Earl Dickinson Building at Germanna Community College's Spotsylvania campus on Wednesday.

It was one more sign that work is nearly complete on the only building on Germanna's three campuses to suffer significant structural damage from the magnitude-5.8 earthquake on Aug. 23, 2011.

The quake damaged all three stairwells and created a floor-to-ceiling crack in the wall on the ground floor of the Dickinson Building.

The building was closed to students and staff after the quake centered in Louisa County. Since then, classes have been held elsewhere and the staff members moved to offices in makeshift spaces.

But when the spring semester begins on Jan. 7, the building will reopen for a full slate of classes and for staff offices, Germanna spokesman Mike Zitz said.

In January, students will also get their first chance to use a new four-level parking deck with 362 spaces, including specially marked spots for motorcycles.

Work on the $5.3 million structure began in mid-May. The deck was to be completed by October but was delayed as workers awaited the arrival of glass for one section of the design.

Work on the Dickinson Building also began in mid-May. Structural repairs were finished in August, and then previously scheduled renovations began.

The student bookstore has relocated into the space in Dickinson that had housed the library.

The library is now in the science and engineering building, which opened in time for summer semester classes.

Work was still being done inside Dickinson this week, but already art classes were starting to use instructional areas on the ground floor of the building.

The total price tag from the earthquake damage at Germanna is roughly $3.5 million. That includes repairs and associated costs such as leasing space for classes and storage of office furniture. All but a $5,000 deductible should be covered by the state's insurance.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
Email: pgould@freelancestar.com