Demolition of the vacant Altenheim buildings, pictured here, will begin on March 1 with asbestos removal. | Map courtesy of CBBEL

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Asbestos removal and demolition of the five structures on the village owned Altenheim property will begin March 1 and will be done by KLF Enterprises, Inc. at a cost of $546,970. A state grant will reimburse the village of Forest Park for the project. The work is anticipated to be completed by June 15, weather permitting.

A preconstruction planning meeting was held Feb. 11 to discuss the project. It included Mayor Rory Hoskins, Village Administrator Tim Gillian, Director of Public Health and Safety Steve Glinke, Director of Public Works John Doss, Jim Amelio and Gerry Hennelly from Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL), the village’s police chief and deputy fire chief, representatives from the water department and two representatives from KLF. Board members and the executive director of the Altenheim senior living community and representatives from the Residences at the Grove were also present.

KLF requested and was granted permission to work six days a week, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Glinke made it clear during the meeting that KLF and their subcontractors must adhere to working hours, including no warming-up of equipment before 7 a.m. on weekdays, no idling trucks on Van Buren Street, and avoiding truck traffic during peak hours.

For safety of materials and equipment on the site, Glinke suggested KLF put in temporary lighting to dissuade potential criminals and make the site easier for police to see. “It’s not like a rottweiler, but it’s better than nothing,” Glinke said.

Police Chief Tom Aftanas, present at the meeting, said that although police patrol the area, there are no guarantees officers will be at the site if and when something happens or be able to prevent it.

Because of the scope of the project and its proximity to both the senior living community and the Grove townhomes, Hennelly from CBBEL said he would be overseeing the project on a daily basis and would be the point-person to call if any issues arise.

“I will be there all the time,” Hennelly said during the meeting. He added later: “We want to be on top of everyone who’s on the site at all times.” To ensure this is possible, KLF will provide subcontractor agreements and lists of all subcontractors to CBBEL.

Asbestos removal will be the first step of the project, and KLF said that would take about three weeks to complete. A decontamination trailer will be onsite for workers.

Demolition will occur next. Taking down the chapel will be done in about 10 to 12 days, the cafeteria in about 6 days, and buildings D and G in about a month each, KLF representatives said.

Mark Zinni, a board member from the Altenheim senior living community, said the board was thankful for everyone being at the meeting and encourages the demolition of the buildings.

The senior living community’s primary concern, he said, is life safety for its more than 60 residents, who are senior citizens. He said he’d like to see a diagram of the fencing being planned by KLF to ensure the work area is clearly marked off and separated.

“Good fences make good neighbors,” Zinni said.

KLF will submit specifications for fencing, including material and height, to CBBEL.

Zinni also said the Altenheim senior living community needs to be listed on the certificate of insurance from the general contractor and all subcontractors to protect them from potential damage during the demolition project.