Demolition crews with Shafer Excavating are pushing ahead this week with their work to knock down and clear the Benld Elementary School that has been vacant since the subsidence of Superior Mine #2 that caused severe damage to the building in March of 2009.
The demolition started in 2013, but was later halted in September of 2013 due to a request by Chicago and Northwestern Railroard to conduct further testing. Superintendent Joe Tieman announced Monday evening at the July board meeting that demolition will begin as soon as possible after the court released the building.
Shafer won the contract to demolish the building with a bid of $171,125 and has had the building fenced for nearly a year now. They first took out the doors, windows, and all the items from the interior of the building. They moved on to removing the air conditioning units before demolition was halted. Crews started demolition on the northeastern wing Tuesday morning.
Tieman announced that all contractual issues with Shafer had been “worked out” and demolition will be complete within four months and definitely by the end of 2014. In addition to demolishing the seven-year-old school building, the site will also be restored, regarded and the land will be seeded.
The concrete and asphalt on the east side of the building will be removed, but the parking area on the west side will remain along with the light fixtures.
Benld Elementary was condemned by the State of Illinois in 2009 after their investigation concluded the school could never be used again. The elementary school was seven years old at the time. The board has not decided what they are going to with the land after the building is demolished.
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