Columbia demolition job becomes historic preservation project

Jun 18, 2014

Credit Amy Munneke / KBIA

A Columbia parks demolition project has turned into a possible preservation project.

Jeremy Sapp was tearing down part of the Parks Management Center Friday when he noticed something.

“We were in the process of tearing the building down and pulling the brick off the face of the building and found the beam and just kept following it to see what it was," he said.

The beam has lettering that reads "Stephens College Aviation Department," and is thought to have been part of a building that housed numerous airport functions for Stephens College starting in 1941 and ending in 1960.

Stephens College’s aviation department was part of Columbia Municipal Airport which was sold to the City of Columbia in 1928. Stephens used the airport from 1941 to 1960. The airport used to sit on part of Cosmo Park which is where the Parks Management Center now stands.

Engineers have developed a plan to remove and preserve the beam that has now been moved to Columbia Regional Airport.

Sapp says finding the beam and figuring out what to do with the beam delayed constructions two days.