Old bottling plant will come down

St. Olaf Church will ‘control the block’

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Mel Schroeder, president of the St. Olaf Lutheran Church, stands near the Pepsi-Cola logo stamped into the mosaic tile inside the old bottling plant, recently.

A building that started out as the Fort Dodge Bottling Company in 1941, and later was home to a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant, will be demolished within a couple months, according to Mel Schroeder, president of the St. Olaf Lutheran Church Foundation.

That building, located at 216 N 12th St., is owned by the St. Olaf Lutheran Church Foundation.

It is sometimes referred to as the “old bottling plant.”

Some remember it at one point being the 7-Up plant.

“I remember it as a 7-Up bottling plant. My aunt worked there,” Sharon DeBruin said on social media. “I remember seeing the bottles go by in the conveyor belt.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The old bottling plant as it is sometimes referred to, is located at 216 N 12th St. It is being demolished.

In 1984, the building was occupied by Colonial Heating and Sheet Metal Inc.

The St. Olaf Church Foundation purchased the property from Colonial Heating and Sheet Metal in 2009.

The foundation rented the building out for a few years until it was decided the structure needed a new roof, Schroeder said.

The building has sat empty for the past three years.

“We decided it needed a new roof, electrical, plumbing, everything needed upgrading,” Schroeder said. “It was decided the building was to a point where a lot of money would have to be spent to make it rentable, so the decision was to demolish the building.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Pepsi-Cola is stamped into the mosaic tile at the old bottling plant, north of downtown Fort Dodge.

Nels Pederson Construction, of Badger, was awarded the contract for demolition.

The firm already has crews onsite.

On Wednesday, the electricity had been turned off.

Inside, a Pepsi-Cola logo is visible in mosaic tile.

Schroeder said an effort would be made to salvage that piece.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
A spiral staircase leads up to a single office inside the old bottling plant.

The building is to be torn down by the middle of September, Schroeder said.

“Once it is demolished, it will be leveled with black dirt,” he said.

The 21,000-square-foot property will then be deeded over to the church.

It hasn’t been decided how the church will use it.

“The church foundation wanted to control the block for possible expansion of the church,” Schroeder said. “The church will decide how to use that land.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The roof of the old bottling plant is in disrepair and factored into the decision to tear the plant down, according to Mel Schroeder, the president of the St. Olaf Lutheran Church Foundation.

About two years ago, the St. Olaf Lutheran Church Foundation bought the Minerva Apartments, which are located southeast of the church.

That building was also razed and is now green space.

“The purpose of buying both of those buildings is to control the whole block,” Schroeder reiterated.

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