images_sizedimage_269075955

Angela weatherford/athens review The old Henderson County Memorial Hospital starts to get cleaned up this week. The Henderson County Commissioners’ Court, Tuesday, approved a $96,000 contract to get out the asbestos.

Asbestos abatement has begun on the old Henderson County Hospital building in Athens. County Judge David Holstein said the process should take through Nov. 9.

The Henderson County Commissioners’ Court, Tuesday, approved a $96,000 contract with Clean Air Remediation Environmental Services (CARES) for the abatement. The abatement must be completed before demolition of the oldest part of the hospital can take place.

The commissioners previously approved a contract with ERI Consulting Inc. to serve as the project consultant for the abatement. Holstein said they will continue to oversee the work on behalf of the county as CARES completes the remediation process.

“ERI is our consultant to handle the whole job. ERI is independent from CARES. It’s a system of checks and balances,” Holstein said. “First ERI did the study to see what asbestos needed to be removed then we went out for bids for independent asbestos abaters”

In August, Holstein said, nine companies walked through the hospital buildings to see what work needed to be done.

“ERI basically led them from place to place showing where the asbestos was,” Holstein said. “Now, ERI’s job is basically to make sure it’s done in compliance with federal and state law and to make sure it’s properly documented and handled.”

“And we’re going to get a guarantee that all the asbestos is gone?” 3rd Precinct Commissioner Ronny Lawrence asked.

Holstein explained that ERI will serve as the county’s advocate in the process.

The work covered in the bid includes in the west wing, approximately 14,000 square feet of flooring, duct connectors, ceiling material and pipe insulation. The east wing includes 32,830 square feet of flooring, duct connectors, ceiling material and pipe insulation. County officials plan to demolish the east and west wings, then close off the remaining structure.

The hospital has been out of use since about 1982, Holstein said. Efforts to find a tenant for the structure often reached the talking stage, but for various reasons fell from the wayside. Earlier this year, Holstein said he and Lawrence looked into selling the buildings but could not find a buyer.

Recommended for you