A "No Trespassing" sign on the gate surrounding the demolition site.

Park District of Forest Park commissioners, at a meeting Aug. 1, voted to finalize plans for the emergency demolition of the Roos building. Midwest Wrecking Company of Chicago submitted the low bid to demolish the building for no more than $335,000.

Employees from Midwest, using a blue crane, are currently removing the northern portion of the building — up to the fourth window bay — in a special pre-demolition project that required permits from CMX Railroad.

Once demolition of this section has finished, Midwest will tear down the rest of the building.

“They’ll be bringing out the big machines,” Executive Director Larry Piekarz told the park board.

Asbestos and lead abatement must be completed in spots around the building, specifically where there is lead flashing and asbestos was discovered in one location. The pre-demolition work will cost the park district around $84,000. The total cost of demolition will be just under $420,000.

The 1915 yellow pine 10 x 10-inch beams inside the building have significant salvage value, Piekarz told the board. Midwest will have salvage rights to those and gave the park district a discounted bid which included salvage. Piekarz said without the salvage, the demolition might have cost around $500,000. The bricks are not as valuable, he noted. Some of them will be saved for auction to raise money for the Friends of the Park Foundation.

The last cellular and Internet antenna equipment was removed from the building’s water tower on July 31, Piekarz said.

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...

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