MACHIAS, Maine — Crews are working this week to get the Kimball Hall site on the University of Maine at Machias campus ready for demolition.
Workers with contractor J.E. Butler LLC of Holden, who were on site Wednesday, said they were preparing the site for the demolition work, which they expected to begin June 28. They worked Wednesday afternoon installing a silt fence in order to control water runoff and debris during the demolition process.
The building will be removed gradually from the top down in order to cause minimal disturbance to the surrounding area. The work is expected to take about five weeks and will be completed before classes start in August, according to a university news release.
Several pieces of heavy equipment were set up behind the building, which is more than 100 years old and was determined to be structurally unsafe and in danger of collapse. The building was closed in February 2015 and, in November 2015, university officials recommended tearing it down instead of trying to renovate it.
The site has been surrounded by a fence with “no trespassing” signs to keep the public out.
The campus road in front of Kimball Hall will be closed to the public so heavy equipment and tractor-trailers can get through, according to the news release.
The site will be misted with water during demolition to keep dust to a minimum, the release states.
The foundation of the building will be buried, the land will be graded and converted to a grassy area, and the parking lot will be improved and reconfigured to better serve Dorward Hall and the Book Arts Studio.
Mark Hatt, chief financial officer for UMaine at Machias, said that the hazardous waste remediation phase at Kimball Hall is already completed, with the removal of asbestos, universal waste and PCBs. Remediation was completed by RJ Enterprises of Brunswick.