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Demolition of old Inn at Westview underway

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The old Inn at Westview is coming down.

Crews have started the deconstruction process of the Powell River building.

That’s according to Jack Barr with American Investments, the agent for Westview’s owner Seaboard Hotels.

“It is currently underway. I was up there Monday and saw their preliminary work being done. The permits have been approved…excavators were on site and everything’s under control…unless I haven’t heard otherwise,” Barr said.

He noted that there is still “no real plans” for the future of the site.

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“That’s one of the reasons that it hasn’t been taken down (until now). Usually, in part of a business plan, if there were a development, all of that would be taken into consideration. But there wasn’t, and again, we know that we wanted it (the Inn) to come down, it was just waiting to find out if there were any potential plans but at the end of the day, we opted to take that step and bring (the Inn) down,” he said.

Barr noted that the deconstruction, or demolition, should take about two weeks, and crews will take a break over Christmas before hauling materials off-site throughout the month of January.

“It (the entire removal process) should be done by the end of January,” he said.

In a release, Powell River’s building inspector Graeme Stewart said WorkSafeBC is contacted after a deconstruction permit like this is received in order to ensure safe demolition of the property.

“The construction company handling the demolition contacts WorkSafeBC and informs them they will be taking down this building,” he stated.

“All the City bylaws have been met for demolition, including reviews by Fire and Engineering departments. WorkSafeBC also has to look at the plan for the demolition and approve the procedure for taking down the building.”

Stewart explained that WorkSafeBC is going to treat the whole site as hazardous waste. Required hazardous materials and risk assessment reports have been submitted, and the demolition project meets all safety requirements.

He said that the building is “so damaged that no one can enter it”, and that he believes there is asbestos and mold in the building. Procedures are in place to secure those hazards while the demolition is underway.

“According to the demolition plan the contractor must soak down the site constantly with water, then proceed with the demolition, keeping the site watered down so as to minimize the dust,” Stewart said in the release.

“The material is then packed into sealed containers and taken away.”

The release noted that Stewart has made it a requirement to protect storm drains to “minimize pollutants getting into the surrounding environment”.

Stewart will return to the site once work is complete to ensure it’s safe.

“They can’t just leave a big hole in the ground,” he said.

The city will ensure that once the work is finished, the site is safe and there are no hazards present for surrounding businesses and the general public.

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