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Episcopal Church Home Abatement
The Episcopal Church Home Complex was located near the foot of the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, NY which spans from the US to Canada, and was to be demolished as part of the Peace Bridge Expansion project. The project was a top story in the local news, and the subject of much debate. There were several lawsuits filed by nearby residents in an effort to prevent the project from moving forward which ultimately failed to stop the demolition.
The Episcopal Church home complex was comprised of 7 mostly interconnected buildings ranging from 2-4 stories in height. The buildings had been vacant for quite some time, and had become a haven for drug dealers, prostitutes, vagrants and vandals. The buildings had been severely vandalized, and there was asbestos contamination throughout the building interiors, as well as within the walls and on structural components. Total Wrecking was initially contracted to remove the asbestos from all of the buildings and demolish only 1 of the buildings as a matter of public safety, but the project was ultimately expanded to include demolition of all but the Chapel building which was constructed in the 1800’s.
Total Wrecking, in coordination and cooperation with Liro Engineers and Empire State Development, was able to gain the support of many of the nearby residents through community outreach efforts and information sessions geared toward helping residents understand what the intended reuse of the property would be, what community problems the abatement and demolition would solve, and informing them of what exactly they could expect from Total Wrecking during the process. Frank Bodami, Managing Member of Total Wrecking personally went door to door speaking with residents before the project in order to ensure that we understood resident concerns at the highest level of our organization so that our approach would be proactively responsive to those concerns. Total Wrecking brought in specialized equipment and initiated procedures to monitor dust, noise, and vibrations throughout the project in order to ensure minimal inconvenience or disturbance to the residents.
With the community now at ease, and the success of the first phase of abatement and demolition, Empire State Development expanded the project to include the demolition of all remaining structures except the historical 1800’s Chapel building, and transformation of the site into a park like setting with contoured berms, new trees and grass, new sidewalks with ADA ramps, and a Kiosk with benches made from salvaged columns from the former Thornton Building for the residents to enjoy. The feedback from the residents at the conclusion of the project was very positive.
It is notable that although there were several substantial project changes as well as substantial previously unknown asbestos and other contaminants, the additional work was funded entirely through value engineering on the part of Total Wrecking. The only change orders issued on the project were those added at the end in order to spend contingency dollars budgeted and enhance the final look of the project.
I appreciated the ease in dealing with the Total Wrecking team, both in the field and
Administratively. Total Wrecking’s willingness to accommodate changes and overcome unseen challenges kept the project running smoothly. The manner that they operated in was safe, effective and efficient. Quandel Construction would like to express our confidence in Total Wrecking and our desire to work with their team on future projects.