October 31st, 2020

City begins demolition of former YMCA


By Kuhl, Nick on March 5, 2020.

Heavy equipment sits ready for demolition work beginning at the old YMCA facility along Stafford Drive downtown. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Nick Kuhl

Lethbridge Herald

nkuhl@lethbridgeherald.com

The sounds of the Village People have officially gone quiet on Stafford Drive South.

Lethbridge residents may have noticed this week that demolition of the old YMCA building has commenced.

Construction crews are on site starting to salvage elements from the interior of the building, with heavy equipment anticipated to arrive soon. City of Lethbridge officials want to remind residents to keep clear of the site and respect the construction fencing securing the area.

The environmental deconstruction, in accordance with the City’s Civic Common Master Plan, is expected to be within budget and anticipated to be fully complete by June 30. At that time, the area will become a public green space.

“There is consideration of what the entire block is going to be developed as,” said Dean Romeril, the City of Lethbridge’s Property Manager for Facility Services, Wednesday morning at the site. “For the interim, we will be removing the building completely. All underground elements as well as above- ground elements and we will be maintaining the parking lot for now. Where the building sits will just be turned into park land with irrigated grass.”

Romeril says the demolition will also focus on mitigating the environmental impact by selectively dismantling the building components to make sure the best reuse, recycling and waste management strategies. As a result, about 90 per cent of the demolition material is expected to be saved from the City’s landfill.

“We take a lot of pride in our environmental deconstruction practices,” said Romeril. “This is something we’ve had in place for many years and we continue to improve on to make sure we are being good stewards of the environment.”

Officials say a full report of waste diversion items will be prepared for the City at the project’s completion, but some anticipated diversion techniques are: reuse of various doors, frames and door hardware; reuse of the interior and exterior aluminum windows and doors; repurposing some of the pool deck equipment; reuse of various mechanical and electrical building elements; and crushing of all building concrete block and concrete to be reused as aggregate for various future construction projects

The decision to remove the YMCA building was made last spring when it was left vacant after the Cor Van Raay YMCA at ATB Centre opened. City council voted in favour of demolition after building inspection reports showed the facility to be in poor condition. The removal of the YMCA building was deemed to be the most economical option in line with the direction of the Civic Commons Master Plan.

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