By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 28, 2013 1:46 PM
Work on razing the former Arts Council building at the corner of Spence Avenue and Ash Street started several weeks ago with asbestos removal, which is still ongoing. After that chore is finished, more visible signs of demolition will begin appearing, say city officials. After the building is destroyed and the site cleared, the city will be seeking offers on the property.
Asbestos signs hang on the plastic sheeting that covers the doorway into the old Arts Council Building while workers dressed in protective clothing clean out asbestos from the building.
Five weeks into the demolition of the former Arts Council of Wayne County building, asbestos abatement is continuing as planned.
Goldsboro City Council awarded the $197,000 contract to A K Grading and Demolition to raze the structure.
The company sub-contracted the asbestos abatement to Aleman Environmental Services, which is based in Gibsonville.
Asbestos abatement began mid-May and is expected to take four to five more weeks to complete, said James Miles, a supervisor with Aleman Environmental Services.
From the start date, the company has 90 days to finish work on the building, which means the job will have to be done by Aug. 18.
"At first, you may not see a whole lot going on during the asbestos abatement, but after that is finished, then you'll see them taking the building down," said Randy Guthrie, Development Services director with the city of Goldsboro.
To clear the building of asbestos, the workers had to take down the ceilings and will now scrape the sprayed on asbestos insulation from the steel beams.
"We did mold remediation first then (demolished) the old stucco walls and ceiling to expose the asbestos," Miles said.
The insulation was used as fire-proofing in the building.
The building uses multiple air filters to clear the air of asbestos particles making it safe to drive by the worksite or to even walk right up next to the building, Miles said.
"We blow air out of there creating negative pressure so the air doesn't get out when you're going in," Miles said.
To enter the building, workers must use special plastic suits and respirators to keep the asbestos out of their lungs. They also shower when they leave.
Once all of the asbestos is cleared out of the building, work can begin on bringing the building itself down.
The contract to demolish the building covers asbestos abatement, demolition of the building, filling in the water fountain adjacent to the building and the demolition of the silo structure behind the building.
When the demolition is done, only the parking lot and the brickwork around the silo will remain.
An offer was made to the city on the property by The Little Bank in the amount of $500,000 which the city turned down, noting that the appraised value of the property without the buildings on it was $518,000.
Councilman Bill Broadaway said that if the City Council were to sell the building for less than the appraised value, it would be a waste of taxpayer money.
It was decided to wait until the property is clear with the hopes of attracting more offers.
The property and building were bought in July 2011 for $500,000 allowing the Arts Council to move to its present location downtown.
The building was planned to be converted to an Air Force museum, but after $163,500 was spent in consulting fees, it was found the project would cost upwards of $8 million which, without private backing, was nearly impossible.
The building suffers from black mold issues as well as the asbestos. That prompted council members to make the decision to demolish the building.