Demolition of DOA Building at 202 Thornton

Neighbors living near the DOA Building to be demolished (white building next to bike path behind Mickey’s Tavern) have expressed their concern regarding a lack of communication about demolition timing and procedures from the state. This 100 year old building scheduled for demolition extends an entire block and houses the remains of a foundry, a munitions factory, an electrical appliance factory, and the UW Tandem Press. All of these enterprises had employed a range of chemicals that are potentially harmful to individuals and the environment, including PCBs, PCE, PAHs, and heavy metals. Lead paint is on all exterior and interior walls. All these industrial components and lead may be sent into the environment during and after the demolition.

Currently, the state is in the bidding process of selecting a demolition contractor and general contractor for the new building. According to Senator Risser’s , ” Once the bidding process is complete, contracts are in place and a final schedule is determined, DOA is planning to formalize a communications plan to notify the neighbors of the events and plans to minimize any impact on surrounding areas.”

MNA and several neighbors are concerned that the DNR is not overseeing the demolition project nor is the DNR required to conduct an Environmental Impact Study. Given the age and use of the building in addition to the proximity of houses and the busy bike path, MNA believes that an Environmental Impact Study should be done to asses exactly what chemicals are present and how the disposing of these chemicals should be managed to limit exposure to anyone near the demolition site.

MNA sent the following letter to Senator Risser and Representative Chris Taylor. MNA is also working with Alder Marsha Rummel to plan a neighborhood meeting to discuss demolition issues. If you have comments, questions, or would like to get involved with this effort, please email mnaboard@marquette-neighborhood.org.

 

Dear Senator Risser and Representative Chris Taylor:

On behalf of the people living in your respective districts and our neighborhood association boundaries, we respectfully ask that you contact the Wisconsin Department of Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Madison to obtain information that our neighbors and members have not been able to secure:

No dates, plans, and contract for the demolition of the Department of Administration building of 202 South Thornton – 301 South Dickinson Streets are known. Inquiries have resulted in suggestions to contact one and person after another.

We have heard from Senator Tammy Baldwin’s staff that obtaining the particulars of the demolition of this enormous building can best be done through state officials, who can communicate with the DOA, WDNR, and City of Madison because it is a state building – and thus we are turning to you both for this help.

This 100 year old building scheduled for demolition extends an entire block and houses the remains of a foundry, a munitions factory, an electrical appliance factory, and the UW Tandem Press. All these enterprises had employed a range of chemicals that are potentially harmful to individuals and the environment, including PCBs, PCE, PAHs, and heavy metals. Lead paint is on all exterior and interior walls. All these industrial components and lead may be sent into the environment during and after the demolition.

On the north side of this building is an apartment complex where many children live, who in terms of their physical and cognitive development, are most at risk for lead poisoning. It may be difficult to assess in the future of the correlation between the children’s exposure to lead from the demolition process and deleterious effects on them given the change in definition of lead exposure in the current budget.

We ask that you please obtain from DOA, the DNR, and the City of Madison the following:
· the Environmental Impact Study for this project
· the date of the demolition
· the plan for the demolition
· the demolition contract

Sincerely,
Lynn Lee
Marquette Neighborhood Association President