Things are literally ramping up for the final phase of the former Sarnia General Hospital demolition.
Contractors are using concrete rubble to build a ramp so excavators can reach the top of the old hospital’s north wing, one of the last structures at the site to fall.
Seven storeys is a bit out of reach for the “big stick” excavator, said Mark Lumley of GFive Inc., the owners of 220 Mitton St.
“It will come down from the top down, kind of like the west wing did,” he said. “They will basically just pile up a bunch of rubble… so they can drive on it.”
Asbestos abatement concluded last week, about a month behind schedule.
The job proved more labour intensive than expected, but everything else went smoothly and demolition is on track to be completed this month, said Lumley.
The next step is for GFive to apply for an Official Plan amendment and proceed with commercial and residential development.
The west wing came down earlier this summer and the east wing hit the ground last week.
Only about 2% of the rubble is going to landfill. The rest of the concrete, metal and other building materials will be recycled.
“I hate to even call it demolition anymore,” said Lumley of contractor Schouten Excavating.
“It’s almost like deconstruction. These guys know exactly what they’re doing and they’re really good at it.”
Lumley said the former records building on George Street is ready for business. Parking and a new roof make the 8,000-square-foot building “perfect for medical-type offices,” he said.
“We just need the right people to come along.”
Lumley was apologetic about the dust and daily construction traffic but said property neighbours have remained positive.
The rampant vandalism and metal theft that has plagued the site since 2011 will soon be a thing of the past, he added.
“Pretty soon there’s not going to be anything left to damage or steal, so that problem will solve itself.”