By: Meg Campbell
Construction started last week on the second phase of a $7.1 million renovation project at the Southern Illinoisan, in Carbondale. The project includes the expansion and modernization of the daily’s news and office space, and is the first major work on the building since 1981, according to publisher Dennis DeRossett.
The renovation will add 5,000 square feet of office space, upgrade heating and cooling systems, and install new office fixtures and telephone system. It will house the paper’s APT editorial and advertising systems, implemented over the last two years.
The extensive nature of the project, which includes tearing down a wall of the existing building, will require most of the company’s staff to relocate to modular offices in the newspaper’s parking lot.
The first phase of the renovation, completed in July 2006, added a $3.5 million mailroom/production facility with a new loading dock and warehouse. That facility, now in operation, is home to a new Titan G60 inserter from manufacturer K&M Newspaper Services.
The paper also recently completed a press upgrade, expanding its Goss Urbanite from eight to 12 units, installing automatic pasters on each end, adding new motors and drives, and replacing all blanket cylinders on all units, according to DeRossett.