Plans proceed for Indiana hotel demolition delayed by asbestos contamination

6 Sep 2013 by under News

Sheraton Hotel Gary Ind 2 100x100 Plans proceed for Indiana hotel demolition delayed by asbestos contaminationPlans to demolish a decrepit downtown Gary, Indiana, hotel may finally have a green light to proceed after work was halted due to concerns about asbestos contamination. The former Sheraton hotel has sat derelict since the mid-1980s.

Some abatement was done in 2008, funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But despite that work, which cost $750,000, not all the was removed from the building. An independent inspection conducted recently by Soil and Material Engineers, Inc., revealed more than 60,000 square feet of remain in the structure and its adjacent parking deck.

However, this week the Gary Redevelopment Commission voted to begin taking bids for the building’s demolition, beginning Oct. 16. It is estimated the demolition – which will have to include more asbestos abatement – will total around $2.5 million.

Asbestos exposure is linked to the development of serious illnesses including asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, and , a deadly cancer. Mesothelioma most often attacks the lining of the lungs or the abdomen, and may also rarely affect the lining of the heart. There is no known cure for mesothelioma. There are strict guidelines established by the EPA as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the safe handling, removal and disposal of asbestos to protect public health and ensure worker safety.

Joseph Van Dyk, director of the city’s Redevelopment Department, told the Post-Tribune that funding for the demolition will come from the EPA, the city’s Community Development Department and the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, which has also authorized a $200,000 grant for the project.

The city hopes to build a park on the hotel site as part of its efforts to revitalize the downtown area. City leaders hope the demolition may be complete by November.


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