Strasburg to demolish Brill’s Grocery, taxi stand Monday

Strasburg will demolish Brill's Grocery Store, center, and the old taxi stand, at right, on Monday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Brill’s Grocery store building and the old taxi stand in Strasburg are set to be demolished at 7 a.m. Monday.

According to Mayor Rich Orndorff, a company, Kee Construction, has been at the site of the two buildings located in downtown Strasburg since May preparing for the demolition

Originally, the town purchased the two buildings with the expectation that they would restore them. But Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said after Tuesday’s Town Council meeting that “it looked like both of them were so structurally deficient” that it did not make sense to restore them. Instead, they went with the cheaper option of demolishing the structures.

As part of the demolition process, Kee Construction has been salvaging parts of the old buildings the town has decided to keep,  Orndorff said.

“We agreed long ago that we would save the original sign — Brill’s grocery sign — and the lighting, and we would save the date stone,” Orndorff said.

All of those things, Orndorff said, are in storage.

During the process of salvaging the material, the company and the town discovered just how many structural problems the buildings have. According to Orndorff, the town was originally looking into whether or not they would save some of the bricks from the Brill store and use them in another structure. But he said that the bricks were too soft for future use.

A Kee Construction employee wound up taking out the date stone from the Brill building with his hands.

“It was just sort of sitting in there,” Orndorff said. “Which kind of lets you know the condition of the structure.”

The town also had asbestos abatement and mold removal done on the properties. Orndorff said that a company came in and removed the asbestos within the last 30 days.

Orndorff was not sure of the demolition’s costs. Pearson, he said, dealt with most of the work of the demolition. Pearson was out of the office Friday and has not responded to a request for comment.

A structural engineer the town hired in 2016 estimated the cost of demolishing the buildings would be about $60,000. But that figure did not include the costs of removing asbestos and mold from the two buildings, which was required prior to the demolition, nor was it necessarily the cost agreed upon by Kee Construction to demolish the buildings.

The town agreed to the contract with Kee Construction during its April 3 meeting, according to minutes from that meeting. Those minutes did not disclose the terms of the contract.