SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 19, 2013

Library demolition goes on and on ...

(Continued)

She said a “precarious” section of the building near the sidewalk had to be taken down on Saturday when the college was not in session. For that reason, the sidewalk was blocked off and traffic on Lafayette Street was narrowed to one lane.

“It was purely for safety reasons,” she said.

Cady stressed that university officials are aware of how trying the demolition has been for neighbors.

“We acknowledge this is a very difficult process for everyone, especially the immediate neighbors, and we wish we could just make the whole thing go away overnight,” she said. “Unfortunately, this is the only way we can remove the building and remove it safely.”

One reason the project is moving so slowly, she said, is that the library is being deconstructed floor by floor to comply with guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Cady said the library is being demolished under an “EPA-approved work plan” based on extensive testing of materials in the building.

“It really is to address environmental concerns,” she said. “It’s really not up to us or the contractor to decide how to bring it down. It was strictly outlined by the EPA.”

Moran said he fears the seemingly endless demolition will go beyond December.

“This building is like the Rock of Gibraltar,” he said. “They can’t knock it down.”

Residents can contact the university’s external affairs office at 978-542-7757 to get on a mailing list for regular construction updates or to find out about meetings of the Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Cady said.

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.

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