Council: Demolition could begin in May

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By Marganne Glasser

The landmark Municipal Building could come down as soon as May with the site restoration completed in August, the Los Alamos County Council was informed at its regular meeting Tuesday.The council voted 6-to-0 to authorize an agreement with Paul Parker Construction, a New Mexico Corporation with an office in Los Alamos, providing for demolition and remediation services. The discovery of asbestos in the window putty and the cost of abatement tipped the scales toward rebuilding instead of remodeling, according to agenda documents.County Engineering Project Manager Steven Huebner explained that Parker Construction’s cost of $694,706 was considerably lower than the competing bid. He said that the project footprint would be minimized. A fence will surround the current building five to 10 feet from its perimeter.Councilor Fran Berting asked if the trees and vegetation would remain. Huebner replied that the Ponderosa pines on the site may be trimmed but will be left intact. The crab apple trees will be dug up and replanted if possible.“We all value the park and don’t want to damage it in any way,” Huebner said, adding that the HVAC air conditioning unit, ceramic tile mural, brass plaques, and outdoor art will be preserved and stored for reinstallation.Huebner said the contract includes installing grass and a sprinkler system.

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