Demolition of "Vito Block" in progress
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
WEBSTER - If you have driven down Main Street in Webster in the last week or so, you probably noticed that the preparation for the demolition of the “Vito Block” is in its early stages.
Once the demolition is done, in its place will be a brand- new 22,000 square foot Webster Police Station, a project which as it stands now should be completed by Spring 2014. But first the old building needs to come down.
The town contracted with waste hauler and recycling company J. R. Vinagro Corporation of Johnston, RI. “We had a pre-construction meeting last week, a pre- demolition meeting,” said Town Manager John McAuliffe.
“Within a couple of days they had the construction fencing up and have already started removing some of the glass. They are coordinating with two different environmental groups, one a soils group, one a building materials group, and those people have already been on site. There is some asbestos, like all old buildings like this have, which will need to be removed.”
The town and McAuliffe are very pleased with the initial phase of the demolition. “So far this company has really impressed us and it looks like they want to do what we want them to do, which is be done quickly; then they get paid and move on to the next project, and everybody is happy. It looks like we will stay on a pretty good schedule. I am not going to pick a day with the demolition will happen, but it is suppose to happen very soon. The company assures us that this is going to go quicker that we could even hope,” he said.
As far as the recycling of the debris goes, Vinagro has its own site where it can filter out and separate construction debris, which means, in McAuliffe’s words, “this thing is going to get dropped and hauled out quite quickly. This should go very well.”
One of the challenges to get the next phase, the construction, done is that the DEP “marches to their own drum,” and in order to keep the process moving they must approve the site and they have no timelines, which doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a long wait, McAuliffe explained.
“In the public sector we have to have a full set of construction documents to go out to bid. On other projects, if it’s privately done, you can multi-task. We can’t really do that because things have to be bid out in a way that is open to everyone, so in order to do that you have to have a full set of plans for all the trades, including electric, masonry, HVAC, gas and plumbing. All those trades submit their bids first. You can’t get to that point where everyone is bidding on the same project unless you have biddable construction documents, which is a set of details which are complete and thorough,” he said.
The town bought the Vito building in September for $500,000, donated by Randy and Donna Becker. In addition the Fels Foundation has donated $6 million over the course of the next several years to help partially fund the project. The town approved the remaining funds for the project.
“This is a project that the town is going to be very proud of,” said McAuliffe earlier this year. “We have a tremendous amount of gratitude towards the Fels Family Foundation generosity and the generosity of Randy and Donna Becker. It was overwhelming.”
- Wednesday, 27 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News