The demolition of a crumbling apartment building, located not far from an elementary school on Hannibal’s South Side, appears set to begin. A piece of heavy equipment was parked adjacent to 801-803 Union on Thursday afternoon.
A $9,000 demo contract for the two-story property was awarded Bricker Excavating/Demolition by the City Council at its Dec. 4 meeting. Bricker also happens to be the new owner of the old Maryland Hotel (Conklin Hotel) in downtown Hannibal, which it intends to demolish.
In late November, Ron Bricker, project coordinator with the company, said he anticipated the razing of the former hotel would begin in a “week and a half to two weeks.” However, that was before Bricker’s bid for the Union Street property was accepted.
Tina Bartz, management assistant in the city’s Public Works Department, said all bidders on the Union Street project were advised that it would have to take precedence over other projects.
“Contractors were told if they could not start immediately the city would not accept their bid,” she said.
While it has been over a week since the contract was awarded there is no angst at city hall over the fact the building is still standing. Bartz noted that because the project had to be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources for approval it could be the end of December before work on Union actually begins.
“We’ll be excited to see 801-803 Union come down and so will a lot of other people,” said Bartz.
Likely counted among those happy to see the building come down is Josh Foust, principal of Stowell Elementary School. In mid-August he expressed concern about the structure, which school children would be walking past regularly once the school year started. The city responded by putting temporary fencing around the building.
While Bricker will bring down the Union property first, that doesn’t mean it isn’t thinking about the pending demolition at 314-16-18 Broadway. Mark Rees, city engineer, indicated Thursday morning that Bricker personnel have been seen periodically entering and exiting the former hotel located next to city hall.
Also busy doing prep work at the Broadway site have been personnel from the gas and phone companies. According to Brian Chaplin, city project manager, a large gas meter was removed recently from behind the old hotel.