By DAVID GREEN
If Fayette’s school demolition project doesn’t go as fast as expected, it’s all right with superintendent Russ Griggs.
Some extra time could be to the district’s benefit.
“If it doesn’t go as quickly as planned,” he told board of education members June 16, “it will give us a chance to move into the new school and see what’s needed, rather than hurry into demolition.”
Some items might be removed from the existing buildings for salvage, he said, only to learn later they could have found a place in the new school.
Griggs said the architect hasn’t yet contacted the Ohio EPA to allow the agency to comment on demolition procedures.
The goal, he said, is to learn about any potential difficulties in the planning stage rather than after the demolition begins.
“We want to make sure the monitoring wells are kept intact and we don’t want anything in the demolition phase that is counter productive to the district,” Griggs said.
Numerous ground water monitoring wells were established on school grounds to study the flow of contaminants from the former Fayette Tubular Products facility.
Attorney David Nunn, who has represented the school district concerning the contamination issue, said he’s not aware of any major problems that might be encountered as long as the wells are protected and the demolition doesn’t go too far below the surface.
For example, the basement of the old school building is to remain in place.
When the move into the new building is completed, the district is required to give immediate notice to DH Holdings, the company responsible for the clean-up of the Tubular Products property.
Griggs expects the buildings to be finally abandoned this fall, after salvaging materials and selling equipment at auction.
Within three months of moving into the new building, the district must enter into a contract for surface demolition. Demolition must commence within 15 months of the move.
Following demolition, DH Holdings has a one-year option to buy the property.
The deed restrictions accepted by the school board in the settlement agreement call for the property to remain green space, with limits on digging into the soil or using groundwater.
Griggs said last week that moving into the new building is ahead of schedule. Teaching materials from both buildings have been moved to their new classrooms, awaiting teachers to put the materials into storage areas. Furniture is expected to begin arriving this week.
Fiber optics and telephone service should be transferred to the new building this week, enabling office staff and administrators to move in.