Former Brigus Academy demolished
Provincial government pays for removal of asbestos-laden structure
A landmark structure in the Town of Brigus has been demolished, and the removal of the asbestos- laden material was completed in recent days.
The former Brigus Academy was knocked down with an excavator and workers with Eastern Demolition, clad in white protective coveralls and wearing masks, spent several weeks removing the debris.
Town officials were pleased to see the building on School Lane Road coming down.
“We’re tickled pink,” town clerk/ manager Wayne Rose stated recently.
With fears about the stability of the building, the town issued a demolition ordered in September, describing the structure as “dilapidated” and a “public nuisance.” The provincial government, which took possession of the property this past summer, awarded the job to Eastern Demolition in the amount of roughly $ 250,000.
The building’s concrete foundation was poured in 1955, and it was operated by the United Church as a school for many years. It was closed following a major restructuring of the province’s education system in the 1990s.
The building had been unoccupied for about a half- dozen years, and was most recently used by a furniture manufacturing company called Craft Industries. The company owes a “substantial” amount of taxes to the town, and there were a number of other liens on the property, Rose explained.
The building was slowly deteriorating, with one of the walls caving in earlier this year.
Under the contract, the company was required to remediate the site.
As for the future of the property, Rose said the town hopes to enter into discussions with the province, in hopes of acquiring the land. He said council is pursuing several options for the property.
Meanwhile, ownership of a second former school building in the town — Bishop O’neill Collegiate — has again changed hands, Rose explained.
A St. John’s based company called Republic Properties purchased the property this past summer. The building has been badly vandalized in recent month, and town officials are hopeful that the company will make some use of the empty brick building, which was constructed in the 1970s.
“We’re excited about what the new owner has in mind,” said Rose.