Main building demolition: Day 1, June 2014

Justina Brown, Troy InVoice Editor-in-Chief

Today was the long awaited day for residents of Auburn. The main building at Auburn High School was faced with heavy machines that tore into the walls, despite the old school putting up a good fight. Regardless of delays the builders faced yesterday and early this morning, the demolition is already half over.

Last week, it had been announced that the building would come down Monday morning but that was soon pushed out a day after additional time was needed to abate hazardous materials inside the two-story structure. This morning at approximately 8 am, Mr. Isham’s second floor room was the first to face the destruction. Room 201 quickly had a large skylight where the roof had been mere minutes before.

Nearly an hour and a half after workers had started tearing down the 50 year old building, engines stopped and an eerie quiet settled over 4th street. Confused glances were exchanged between the small crowd that had gathered outside of AHS. The crew was only halfway through tearing into the first classroom and it appeared they were already finished. Donned in a hard hat and construction gear Mr. Zimmerman emerged from the gated premises to answer the perplexing questions he saw on the spectators faces.

Demolition had indeed stopped, in fact, workers did not plan on starting again today. According to Zimmerman, the crew had found some expensive beams that were decades old in the roof of the 200 hall. As he spoke to us he said that the contractors were all in a meeting to decide what their next step would be; to salvage those beams and resell them, or continue on with demolition as planned. Zimmerman even said that they may go in by hand, taking up to a week to finish the process, in order to save the still quality boards.

Clearly that did not happen. Around lunch time, that eerie silence that swept over the site earlier, was shattered as Rhine machines started up again. Within hours the front half of the 100/200 building was gone up to the main offices. Where computer labs, hallways, and administrators offices once were, a pile of rubble was seen. It is unsure at this time what was decided on the beam dilemma though a pile of them were stacked in front of the school by the time workers left for the day.

Throughout the morning and into the afternoon a number of administrators from the school and district stopped by including, Dr. Kip Herren, Mr. Richard Zimmerman, Mr. Tom McDermott and Mr. Doug Burt, among dozens of other teachers and staff.

There’s still time to come catch the excitement for anyone who missed day one. As the final worker left for the day at 6:30 in the evening, he chatted with the few spectators still standing. He informed the measly group of a dozen that the crew will all be back in the morning to finish the job. It was also learned that this demolition crew is in the middle of a 44 day period in which the entire school must be turned to dirt. That excludes the gym and a few other parts of the school students will still use over the next year. Everything else will be gone in a matter of weeks and those 44 days will soon draw to a close.

Follow @AuburnHigh and @Trojan_Media on Twitter to stay up to date on all things demolition over the coming days.