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Bringing down the house

Lawrence County Land Bank begins demolition of abandoned structures

Neighbors stood by watching the show as the Lawrence County Land Reutilization Corporation began demolition on structures in Ironton and Proctorville this morning — the first of five structures awarded in the first round of demolition bids.

Southern 52 Excavating Incorporated took down the structures at 2207 South Fourth Street in Ironton and at 22 Front Street in Proctorville, starting at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

The work will occur in stages, Administrator of Operations Thomas Schneider explained, with debris loaded onto trucks as work progressed, so that no trace would be left behind by demolition’s end.

“See how he pushes it in, instead of pulling it out?” asked Schneider. “That’s so the building basically implodes instead of explodes.”
This makes cleanup quicker and easier, he noted.

A water-truck also stood by, ready to wet the house to keep dust down if necessary.

Once these two structures are down, demolition will commence on three other structures in Ironton, at 2523 South Third Street, 805 South Seventh Street, and 327 Spruce Street.

Schneider also said that asbestos reports are in on the other properties they’ve acquired, and that the land bank hopes to award bids on those 35 properties at their next meeting.

“We hope to take down (more than) 40 structures by the end of the summer,” he said, noting that some parcels had more than one residential structure on them. By the end of the year, he added, they plan to demolish structures on around 80 blighted and tax delinquent properties.

Only residential structures qualify for demolition funding under federal guidelines, Schneider said. Detached garages and outbuildings, while taken down as well, are not counted toward the land bank’s structure count.