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by Betsy Scott

It’s been dirty, dusty and loud at Great Lakes Mall, and Manager Tony Pestyk couldn’t be happier.

“No pain, no gain,” he said of the 2-week-old renovation project. “This is progress.”

Heavy-duty tile chippers and a half-dozen men with jackhammers work on the floor every night after closing time — after spending an hour covering everything else to protect it from flying dust. When work stops at 6 a.m., all the coverings have to be removed again.

About 200 tons of Italian marble tile is being peeled up, to be recycled by a Northeast Ohio company, and large, industrial grinders will be coming in to get down to the concrete flooring. The work has unearthed the original pavers where the former Joseph Horne’s department store was located, in the Macy’s concourse. The chain closed its Mentor location in 1986 and ceased operations in 1994.

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