Demolition on track

Monroe. The demolition of the former ‘Book Garden’ at 44 Mill Pond is expected to be completed by Friday, Dec. 11, Friday, weather permitting.

| 04 Dec 2020 | 01:49

Not so dramatic as a “wrecking ball” but still essential is the mountain of groundwork that must be laid to bring Monroe Free Library’s building at 40 Mill Pond Parkway down.

There are many bases to cover – from inspection and contractors, to asbestos and fencing, to shutting off water, sewer, gas and electricity – in the library’s demolition project.

The driving force behind it all is the Building and Grounds committee led by Trustee Charles LeViseur.

Once it was clear that the building is in hazardous disrepair and not salvageable, contractors were found and the demolition plan was set in motion.

The ‘Book Garden’

Purchased by the library in 2006, the former dentist’s office was used as library storage and by the Friends of the Library as a fund raising “Book Garden” for several years.

“Emptying out the building next door to was a monumental task,” said MFL executive director Marilyn McIntosh. “But as the saying goes, many hands make light work. Although the work was certainly not light, our library staff, as usual, cheerfully pitched in and got the job done.”

Once last duty: Fire training site

Once the building was empty and the asbestos remediated, MFL Trustee Casey Auerbach saw a chance for collaboration with the Monroe Joint District Fire Department.

Knowing that firefighter training sites are rare, Auerbach reached out to see if local firefighters could use the empty building before it’s leveled. They conducted several sessions there, covering smoke hazards and darkness rescues.