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story.lead_photo.caption Students learning the route for an upcoming cross country race pass the former caretaker's residence at Ellis Porter Riverside Park on Oct. 8, 2021. The facility will serve a number of uses upon completion of its renovation. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Renovations to the groundskeeper house at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park have been expanded to include guttering work.

The Parks Commission approved the additional work at Tuesday's meeting.

Assistant Parks Director JJ Gates said issues with the guttering and soffits of the house were uncovered once the contractor started work about two weeks ago; it was not part of the original bid for the project.

"Once we got going on the project, there was more to the story," he said, "which is common, especially on what we think is a 100-year-old home."

Gates said the seams of the gutters have come apart, which means water is getting into the soffits and causing damage to them. The soffits are the underside of the roof overhang.

"The contractor has suggested the best method of repair is to line it with a rubber membrane, basically," Gates said. "Once we do that, then they repair the soffits underneath and repaint, and we should be good to go for a long time."

The additional work will cost $44,834, according to the change order. Money will come from the parks fund. Gates said the change does not need City Council approval.

The original bid was $606,100; the City Council signed off on the use of the parks funds at the beginning of September.

Parks Director Todd Spalding said last week the goal is to have the exterior work completed before winter sets in.

The renovation is the next step in improving the park. The improvements will include creating space for the Central Missouri Master Gardeners club, which will help parks staff plan, grow and care for botanical gardens.

So far, crews have gutted the inside of the house to the studs. They've started running HVAC, updated electricity and added new pipes through the house.

One of the next steps after those systems are in place is to spray insulation into the walls before sealing them back up.

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