In an email, Will Havemann, a Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson, said the site will undergo demolition work “in one or two weeks, pending the receipt of all permits.”
It appears the city’s School Construction Authority (SCA) is ready to go; the authority has erected fencing around the perimeter of the empty restaurant depot building on 74th Street and 57th Avenue, which is slated to be torn down for the new high school.
Havemann said construction is scheduled to start after the demolition work is finished in January of next year. “Construction is on schedule and proceeding as planned,” he said.
Gary Giordano, the district manager of Community Board 5, said he hopes the SCA takes safety and environmental precautions before starting demolition work.
Giordano raised his concerns over air monitoring, asbestos removal, and neighborhood safety conditions in a November 5th letter to the SCA.
In a September 10th meeting with CB5, the SCA outlined some safety plans for the project, but Giordano said he has yet to see them in writing. “I’m waiting to hear from them as to whether they have a concrete plan,” he said.
In addition, Giordano said the SCA has not said how it plans to dispose of any contaminated soil found on the site.
“I am concerned about any contamination escaping into the atmosphere,” Giordano said, “and I want them to do their best to prevent that from happening.”
A city study this past spring found high levels of contaminated soil on the site, though not enough to warrant an environmental remediation.
Havemann said he would review the SCA’s plans for addressing soil contamination before proceeding with demolition work.