YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — This summer, Yankton officials decided that it was time to spruce up the barrel hangar at Chan Gurney Municipal Airport.

The structure, which dates back to World War II, will get a new roof and all new windows on the north side.

"The barrel hangar was built in 1943 by civilian labor," said Steve Hamilton, secretary for the Yankton Regional Aviation Association. "In fact, the P&D had an article back in '43 where they called for 200 volunteers with hammers to come out and help finish the building, so they could make the deadline established by the Navy training corps."

The 75-year-old building had two different layers of roofing on it, neither of which was keeping out the weather any longer.

"We had some issues with it, with wind damage and a few leaks, so it was time," said Dave Mingo, Yankton's community development director. "There was shingle that had been put on the last time they reroofed it, they were well over 20 years old, and then underneath that there was old mop roofing."

In "mop" roofing, a burlap-like material covered the roof and was sealed by mopping hot tar over it — using an actual mop. It can still be found on flat roofs of the time. Hot tar roofs are still used today, and can be seen on some of Yankton's downtown buildings, but the materials and the process have been updated, Mingo told the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan .

"They were trying to get something really cost effective, but in the long term, it ends up saving money to do something a little more substantial to begin with, so that's what we're doing," he said.

This time the top portion of the hangar will be covered with a modern membrane-type roofing material. The bottom sections on both sides will be covered with higher-quality shingles.

"One thing that happens up there quite a bit is we get some really high winds," Mingo said. "So we went with a high-wind rated shingle and also with an impact-rated shingle, so if we get some hail, it should be able to survive that without any damage."

The new shingles are rated for 130 mph winds; the old ones only had a 65 mph wind rating.

The new roof cost just under $80,000.

Once all the work on the roof is finished, in as little as two weeks, according to Mingo, the city will begin replacing the hangar's north-side windows, which have been boarded up for about a decade.

The broken windows were covered by insurance, and new windows were purchased and stored in a city facility until the roof could be done, Hamilton said.

"Windows on the north side of the hangar got hailed out," Mingo said. "We had a few bad hail storms: 2008 and 2010, I believe. As soon as the roofing materials are installed, our staff will go ahead and work on putting the windows in as time permits, but we didn't want the new windows in while they were shingling around them."

Because of the shape of the structure, the shingles on the barrel hangar go all the way down the side, around the windows and to the ground.

The city, which still rents out plane storage space in the barrel hangar, determined that reroofing around the new windows could cause unnecessary problems.

"It's a great improvement for the building," Hamilton said. "It will hopefully maintain its structural integrity for several more decades."


Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/