Northville Township to take down old powerhouse on hospital property
by Lonnie Huhman (HomeTownLife) Staff Writer
To properly complete the first step in its clean up of the Seven Mile Road property, Northville Township has approved using money from its general fund to remove the asbestos from the former psychiatric hospital’s powerhouse.
Last August, when the demolition and clean up of the powerhouse was first underway, contactors found vastly more asbestos than they had estimated when they looked inside the boiler units. The cancer-causing asbestos was discovered in every crack of the bricks. It was then, according to Northville Township’s Public Services Director Tom Casari, more testing was done and it was determined that more abatement would be necessary, raising the cost higher than a $200,000 federal brownfield grant would pay for.
Because of this the Northville Township Board of Trustees agreed Thursday to spend an additional $288,000 from the general fund to have the asbestos removed by hand, so the structure can safely be demolished.
"This is an important matter for our residents," said Supervisor Robert Nix. "We are going to complete the project…that’s the real purpose of this motion."
Nix said they also have an obligation to get this done if the township wants to qualify for other future grants to help with the cleanup of the remaining buildings on the former hospital property. Complying with the brownfield cleanup plan is crucial, he said.
The board approved a budget amendment and contract change order to allow contactor, National Environmental Group, to complete the powerhouse cleanup project. The change order is in the amount of $300,000.
However, Casari said if there is money left over from the allocated $400,000 then another change order could be brought forward to use the remainder toward another building clean up on the property.
The property is 330 acres with another 82 next door being developed by private planners. Overall, the project will see the demolition of at least 140,000 square feet of obsolete facilities, asbestos abatement and the removal of a portion of an underground steam tunnel network, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.
According to the township’s brownfield plan, several investigations have been conducted on the property which identified historic landfill areas containing waste materials, including suspected medical waste. A former incinerator used to burn medical waste is also present.
The existing buildings on the property are in a general state of disrepair and contain various types and quantities of potentially hazardous materials as well. The report stated asbestos is present within the buildings, which must be abated to mitigate potential health hazards associated with it.
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Northville Trails subdivision resident Linda Wagner stands near the old power plant on the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital property. Northville Township officials agreed to demolish the structure, which contains plenty of asbestos. / File photo
April 25, 2013, 6:12 pm
I was chosen to go help docment the 770,000 square foot Fergus Falls Kirkbride asylum built in the 1800s, the only problem is, funding. We're doing a fund raiser to help us cover the trip. Heres a link to the article about it... any donations to the campaign would help ensure that this project gets off the ground. This is a once in a life time chance to document this historic 1800's asylum.
From the Fundrazr Campaign Page:
The Fergus Falls Kirkbride has been at risk of demolition over the past few years. This building has been home and treatment for the mentally ill over the past century and is in itself a remarkable example of Kirkbride planned asylums. Approximately 40 photographers, Cinematographers and urban explorers intend to stop the clock for a weekend and preserve the memory of this building in photographs and videos.... Every square inch of the 770,000 sq ft asylum to be exact. We then plan to use those photographs and tie them into an interactive 3D website that allows future generations to understand what was here. To do this we need to offset travel expenses, cover building usage expenses, web site building... etc. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
From the News Article:
What is the Kirkbride Project?
The Kirkbride Project is an interactive Photographic experience . It is the first coordinated and organized effort to photograph every square inch of a Kirkbride asylum in both an accurate and artistic way.
Who is involved in the Kirkbride Project?
The Kirkbride Project is founded by photographer/musician/explorer Christian VanAntwerpen of CVK Multimedia and co-led by cinematographer/explorer Robert Duffy. The project involves 40 to 50 world class photographers, cinematographer, urban explorers, artists, and preservationists. The project also involves dozens of volunteers for security, web building, coordinating, fund raising, and project preparations
Where is the Kirkbride Project?
The Kirkbride Project is tentatively expected to begin in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and branch out to other abandoned Kirkbride Asylums at risk of demolition or reuse.
When will the Kirkbride Project begin?
The Kirkbride Project is underway in the planning phase. Organizers hope to execute the photographic aspect of the project this spring. The finished Fergus Falls Project page is hopefully going to be publicly viewable on the Internet by late 2013 early 2014.
March 11, 2013, 1:08 pm
New Video by Red:
December 16, 2012, 12:23 pm