Goerlich Building site in Dowagiac to be cleared next month

Leader photo/TED YOAKUM With the old warehouse torn down late last month, workers with Melching Inc. have spent the last several weeks sifting through the debris of the destroyed structure, to determine which materials can be recycled and which should be disposed of completely.

Leader photo/TED YOAKUM
With the old warehouse torn down late last month, workers with Melching Inc. have spent the last several weeks sifting through the debris of the destroyed structure, to determine which materials can be recycled and which should be disposed of completely.

While the most spectacular-looking tasks are over, there’s still plenty of work ahead of demolition crews at the Goerlich Building site.

With the old warehouse torn down late last month, workers with Melching Inc. have spent the last several weeks sifting through the debris of the destroyed structure, to determine which materials can be recycled and which should be disposed of completely. Once that work is complete, crews will then transport the rubble to its appropriate destination before leveling off the foundation of the former structure.

The remaining work should be wrapped up by mid-February, said City Manager Kevin Anderson.

Crews with the demolition contractor had been working on bringing down the former Round Oak Stove Company warehouse since late November. After performing some initial asbestos abatement work, the company brought heavy machinery into town to perform the bulk of the razing, spending around two weeks destroying the exterior of the three-story structure.

“The walls falling down looked pretty dramatic, but what work remains is kind of tedious,” Anderson said.

Some of the rubble has already been transported to the field outside the Dowagiac Fire Department on Wolf Street. The city manager expects grinding work to be performed on the stones any day now, allowing the material to be used for future city projects, Anderson said.

“There’s a large volume that should last us for many years,” he said. “It will save us money on road and utility projects.”

Despite the recent turn in the weather, the snow and extreme cold has not caused any noticeable setbacks to the progress being made by crews, Anderson said. The staff expects to complete the remaining tasks on schedule, he said.

Once the work is completed and the weather breaks, crews with the city’s department of public services will plant grass over the site, in preparation for future landscaping work, Anderson said.

“Once we are done getting the aesthetics in place, it should look really nice,” he said. “It will be a welcoming entrance into our downtown.”

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