The Roos building should begin to come down at the end of the week, according to Larry Piekarz, executive director of the park district. Midwest Wrecking Company of Chicago, the company which performed the 1982 demolition of the Chicago Coliseum, will be doing the first stage of Roos work for around $84,000.

The village issued an emergency order to begin demolition after a portion of the roof collapsed during storms June 27.

Proximity to the railroad line running north of the building will cost the Park District $17,000 Piekarz told the park board at its July 18 meeting. The park district must acquire special demolition insurance from the railroad to remove the building up to the fourth window bay, Piekarz said. Along with that, a railroad flag man must be hired– but only for a maximum of six hours a day — to make sure no rail traffic travels down the unused east-west railroad spur, which is owned by Canadian National. These tracks west of Ferrara Candy Company have not been used for years, but east of the Circle Avenue bridge the tracks are occasionally used to deliver sugar and other supplies to the candy maker.

Once the building has been demolished to a specific distance from the tracks, the railroad will no longer be involved in the demolition.

When the board meets Aug. 1, it will vote on bids to tear down the rest of the building. Midwest may bid on that job as well, Piekarz said. Demolition of the rest of the building may start as soon as Aug. 2.

As well as tearing down the structure, asbestos and lead abatement must be done in small spots around the building, specifically where there is lead flashing and in a 15-foot x 15-foot spot where asbestos was discovered. For that job, the park district must hire an abatement engineer who’s certified by the IEPA, Piekarz told the board.

Piekarz said demolition traffic will not close down any thoroughfares in Forest Park, except the frontage road that runs beneath the Circle Avenue bridge.

Cellular telephone antennas have been removed from the 10-story Roos tower. All power to the building was turned off this week.

Sprint will move its antennas to a tower at the U-Haul property at Harrison Street and Harlem Avenue, Piekarz added.

Playground construction delayed

A drainage pipe has thrown the playground construction off schedule, Piekarz told the park board July 18. According to Piekarz, a pipe needed to be hooked up to the existing line and that required special permitting from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

But when the park district submitted a change order to Kee Construction, the cost for the new pipe was estimated at $84,000.

“I didn’t want to pay $80,000 for a pipe,” Piekarz told the board. An independent engineering firm estimated the pipe project should be around $44,000, Piekarz said.

He told the board the park district would be bidding out the pipe replacement and hookup as a separate job, and that the Kee Construction company could be the low bidder. Kee initially agreed to construct the entire playground for $277,748.

Kee Construction, LLC, Owner Greta J. Keranen said the project could not continue until the drainage issue had been resolved. Keranan said the new pipe was longer than initially bid and that there was additional work on catch basins.

“The playground has to be filled in and graded, and that can’t happen until the pipe and the drainage are complete,” Keranen said.

New parks rec supervisor/assistant director sought

Piekarz told the park board he was seeking a new recreation supervisor with the departure of Stacy Lafortune. Piekarz said he wanted to expand the job description to include duties of assistant director as well, as a way to create a succession plan for the director. The new post will be advertised this week.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

8 replies on “Emergency Roos demolition to begin”