By Georgine Wallace
Just when all of us were ready to beat on the walls with our own hammers, the permit to raze the old Southwest Library was granted by DCRA on Thanksgiving Eve. The official demolition began on the morning of Dec. 6, when the excavator made its first hit on the front entrance. The building will be taken down over the next six to seven weeks.
The demolition phase should be finished at the end of January. Most of the material will be separated for recycling as the building is leveled. The construction team will be complying with all regulations, which require that noise be kept below 85 decibels and construction does not begin before 7 a.m. Work hours of the demolition phase will be from 7 a.m.- dusk, currently 5 p.m. No Saturday work is planned during demolition.
Turner Construction and the Library are being vigilant about lowering the dust output and will water down the site at times to protect residents as much as possible. Recent rain storms have been providing additional water to minimize dust. All work is being completed within the fence-line.
A few of you asked about rodent issues that often plague new construction projects. The library was issued a rodent certificate the week prior to receiving the raze permit. With visions of Mickey Mouse’s face on a certificate in my head, I asked what exactly that meant. The certificate is provided to a site when it is viewed as rodent free. Turner Construction plans to keep it that way by managing waste produced on-site and to prohibit workers from having food and disposing of it on-site – a common source of rodent issues.
Representatives from Turner Construction and the Library will update ANC6D on a regular basis when the construction phase begins. We will also provide monthly updates in The Southwester.
As a reminder, the interim Southwest Library is the gray trailer at 425 M St. SW, between the Farmers Market and the new Modern on M building. You can pick up holds, get new library cards, renew a card, make copies, and use computers just as before.