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Demolition of several MCHS buildings scheduled to begin before this weekend

By Bill Short

MCHS tear down 2The scheduled demolition of several buildings on the Millington Central High School campus is expected to begin by the end of this week.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the municipal school system, made that announcement Monday night during the Millington School Board’s regular monthly meeting.
Board Chairman Cody Childress has said the plan is to demolish the old cafeteria, Library/Science, ROTC and Vocational classroom buildings this summer. The school’s auditorium will remain until a new Fine Arts Center has been constructed.
Roper said the demolition will begin with the Vocational building, which is “closest to where the students will be” when the 2016-17 academic year starts next Monday. But he has noted that it will not include the “auto shop area.”
At a special called meeting in June, the board unanimously awarded a demolition contract to Biggs Construction Co. in Rosemark.
During a July 18 telephone interview, Childress said the company had “just about taken care of” all the utilities that must be cut off and re-routed before it actually begins the demolition.
He said the construction project will start as soon as the buildings are down and the site is graded. And he anticipated that ground will be broken for the Fine Arts Center in late October or early November.
In response to a question by board Vice Chairman Greg Ritter, Roper said Monday night that the “actual demolition itself” should take “just a few weeks.”
“Obviously, the buildings can come down fairly rapidly,” he acknowledged. “The cleanup takes a little bit longer. They’re making sure that everything is ready for this new construction.”
Oscar Brown, supervisor of Operations and Transportation for the school system, said the demolition is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 15.
“As they get a building down,” he noted, “they’ll come back and recover that ground.”
On a motion offered by Larry Jackson and seconded by Louise Kennon, the board unanimously approved a $10,200 Change Order for removal of additional asbestos discovered in the ceiling of the old cafeteria.
Roper acknowledged that he would have preferred not to have this problem. But he noted that the school system cannot simply “let it go” and proceed anyway.
“It obviously has to be removed,” he said. “And it has to be done by following a certain procedure.”
Roper also noted that work is “well under way” on the drainage project that will help prevent future flooding at the high school.
For the school system’s “purposes,” he said, it is designed to get the water on Second Avenue to flow back toward Wilkinsville Road instead of toward West Street.
Citing an “update” he received earlier that day, Roper said he expects the work will be “far enough along” by next Monday that buses can travel down Second Avenue between the high school and the system’s Central Office.
Because the city took the drainage project “under its wing” and did all the engineering for it, Childress said the city manager, mayor and aldermen deserve “big kudos.”
“If the school system had to have undertaken this,” he concluded, “it would have been a monster problem for us.”

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