And those walls came tumbling down

Workers from National Civil continue the demolition of the old Law Enforcement Center on Fifth Street West in Williston on Friday, Dec. 27. The company was hired by the city to take over demolition efforts after the building’s owners missed a Dec. 14 deadline to have the building torn down.

The next step in the city’s demolition of the former Law Enforcement Center will begin next week with asbestos abatement.

The city has been awaiting word from the state on the status of the building, after possible asbestos-containing insulation was found during some of the initial demolition in December. After receiving confirmation that asbestos was discovered, the city has been waiting for approval to begin abatement.

“The city received confirmation on Monday, January 13, 2020, from the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality that they could begin the abatement process. Two companies will be onsite full-time during abatement and have been scheduled to start January 20,” said Mark Schneider, Director of City of Williston Development Services.

Schneider added that the city’s goal is to return the site to a natural grassy lot, keeping as many trees as possible.

“The community of Williston has waited a long time for this and the City promised we would see that the site was cleaned up,” he said. “It’s not only a problem of unsightliness, there are safety issues with broken glass doors and windows, with vagrants living inside, kids going into the building during evening hours, and rodents hanging around the building. We are trying to clean it up and bring it into compliance.”

The building had been declared a danger by the city previously, and owners J.T.M. Properties were tasked with the demolition of the building, which had a deadline of Dec. 14. Demolition contractors Lakeside Builders began demolition on Dec. 3, but were halted by the state on Dec. 5. The city took over demolition operations as of Dec. 14, and will move forward with the demo themselves.

“The city will work closely with National Civil, the asbestos sub-contractors and NDDEQ to proceed with the demolition and abatement process and cleanup the project quickly and safely,” said Schneider.

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