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Library Square demolition set, but salvage could come at a cost

December 6, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

It’s signed, sealed and delivered – the contract to demolish the two buildings currently occupying Library Square was approved at Council last week.
King-based Priestly Demolition will carry out the work under a contract worth $111,300, excluding taxes, but this number could increase for any additional salvage work Council might request before the wrecking ball arrives.
At last week’s Council meeting, some members reiterated their wish that some parts of the old Aurora Public Library building on Victoria Street, which was Aurora’s gift to itself to commemorate the Centennial, be salvaged for some future re-use.
While Priestly Demolition has agreed to salvage two of the building’s external beams at no additional cost, anything else will be an add-on.
“They are prepared to salvage the wood beams at no additional cost [but] they were concerned with trying to salvage all the wood in the ceiling because that involves nail removal and that sort of stuff, and they thought they wouldn’t be able to do that without an extra cost,” said CAO Doug Nadorozny.
Council, however, was prepared to explore the options further.
“Even if they did damage some [of the wood] we could take the best of the bunch and take the nails out and there is still a span of significant footage,” said Councillor John Abel. “It might not be whole, but it would be worth cutting the ends to bring it through. Mr. Priestly is very community-oriented, I would assume with the understanding we could possibly maximize the opportunities to grab what is there.”
Mr. Nadorozny said that is indeed something that can be explored but “they made it clear” the costs would go up.
“They bid on the basis they would be demolishing the whole thing,” he said.
Town Treasurer Dan Elliott reiterated to Council that while Priestly Demolition is prepared to salvage the beams, transportation off-site and storage of the material would be an additional cost borne by the Town, but it’s a cost that can be accommodated within the current demolition budget.
The cost of the contract, Mr. Elliott noted, was kept low on the basis that Aurora wouldn’t want to reclaim any part of the demolished buildings.
“Metal, concrete, masonry, [and] bricks are standard recycling materials and the contract was called for standard industry regulations, etc.,” said Mr. Elliott. “They do not normally recycle the wood because of the nails, the fasteners, and wires within it. Everything other than that gets diverted and recycled, the rest goes to a landfill or to the energy-from-waste facility.
“We don’t want to impose additional restrictions on them. They pull stuff out of the building they think they can get a buck from and it helps drive our cost down. When we start asking for these things out it defeats the purpose. [They] bid on the most competitive approach and that is what we’ve got.”
That being said, Mr. Elliott said they look forward to the possibility of the beams being reused within the proposed overhaul of the Aurora Armoury or even whatever is ultimately built in the final design of Library Square.



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