St. Armand highway garage demolished

BLOOMINGDALE – The town of St. Armand’s highway garage was demolished this week to make way for a new one.

Supervisor Charlie Whitson said town and Essex County highway crews set to work Monday morning tearing down the 70-plus-year-old garage.

“The county sent up an excavator with a jackhammer and bucket on it,” he said. “He started right in the front and punched a hole in the roof. Then he rolled the bucket and pressed it up against one of the abutments that divided the doors, causing that part of the wall to lose its structural integrity. Then the whole roof just came slamming down on top of everything.”

The building was in such disrepair that it didn’t take much to bring it down, Whitson added.

When the demolition was over, the debris was dumped on a local resident’s property, per a state Adirondack Park Agency permit the town received, Whitson said. The debris will be covered over at a later date, he said.

Whitson said construction of the town’s new four-bay, 106-foot-long-by-60-foot-wide highway garage is scheduled to begin May 5. It will be about twice as big as the old garage and will be located on roughly the same site, although its bays will face the side of the property instead of Main Street.

The new garage will be a wood-framed structure with metal siding. It will have 4-foot high concrete walls around its base, a metal roof and in-floor heating. In addition to the four truck bays, the building will have office space, a break room, utility room, a restroom and a parts room.

Whitson said a meeting of the various contractors involved in the project was held last week. Integrated Rigging and Contracting of Plattsburgh is the project’s general contractor. Another Plattsburgh company, Jeff Rushby Mechanical, will handle the plumbing and heating. John Schwartz of Bloomingdale will do the electrical work.

Initial estimates put the project’s total cost at roughly $925,000, but Whitson said the bids came in much lower at $651,853. The town plans to borrow $800,000, adding some additional money for contingencies, Whitson said.

The new garage is expected to take up to six months to complete.

“They should be done by October, well before the start of winter, let’s hope,” Whitson said.