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End of an era: Demolition makes way for new school
Aug 19, 2010
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Photos by Tom Taylor
The chimney of the old Helen M. Knight Intermediate School slowly falls, destroying a section of the building that once housed the gymnasium and kitchen. Preparations to demolish the smokestack took the better part of an afternoon earlier this summer. On July 24, construction crews attached a loop of steel cable around the base of the chimney and connected the other end to a Caterpillar/tractor. A forklift then gently lifted the loop up the side of the chimney as high as it could to make the cable taut. For the next 30 minutes, water was sprayed on and around the chimney, and the area on which it would fall to help keep down dust during the demolition. Once the area was thoroughly soaked and cleared of any bystanders, the heavy equipment slowly moved backward until a crack appeared at the base of the chimney. The driver continued moving the machine backward until the chimney began to slowly fall forward. Within a few seconds, gravity brought the smokestack down onto the area of the school’s lunchroom and kitchen, sending a huge cloud of dust into the air as the last remnants of that section of HMK collapsed to the ground.
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