Demolition of the old Miami Trace High School, which originally opened in 1962, has begun.
The school is being demolished in sections, with the athletic section coming down first. Miami Trace High School students moved into a brand-new high school
According to Miami Trace Local Schools Superintendent David Lewis, once the athletic section is torn down the site will be prepared for new bleachers. It is hoped the bleachers will be complete by the first football game in the fall.
The new bleachers will have a capacity of 2,500 people and will feature a premium seating area centrally located with backs to the seats. The premium seats will most likely be for those with season passes.
Other plans for the space include a press box and a plaza that ties into the concessions area. For now, the majority of the land will be left as green space.
The ultimate deadline for the demolition is Sept. 1. Lewis explained, “With weather delays and some other delays we’re just waiting to see.”
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Bill Franke, the business manager for the Miami Trace Local School District.
One of the delays is being caused by the presence of asbestos in the old school. According to Lewis and Franke, they were aware of the asbestos in areas such as the tiles and the insulation. Due to this presence, there are specific procedures that must be undergone during the demolition.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website, there is an Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) that contains regulations for asbestos in educational settings—schools must be inspected for asbestos-containing building material. If there is asbestos, the school must prepare management plans and take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.
The EPA site states, “if removal of asbestos during renovation is warranted, or school buildings will be demolished, public school districts and non-profit schools must comply with the Asbestos National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).”
Asbestos is most dangerous when breathed in—so long as the materials containing asbestos are not damaged or disturbed it is usually safer to leave that material alone. Since the structure is being demolished, the asbestos must be removed so it will not become airborne.
Lewis said, “It’s a little bit slower than we would have anticipated but the fact is—it’s going to be done right. It’s going to be done safely.”
Just in case the new bleachers won’t be ready for the start of football season, officials are beginning to discuss contingency plans.
“We just ask for everybody to please be patient—we’re doing our best to make sure the building gets taken down properly and we want to see our stadium put up in time as well,” said Lewis.
Lewis and Franke wanted to ask everyone to be mindful—they understand many in the community will want to witness and be a part of the project but ask for people to stay off the demolition site—although it can be viewed from a distance. Lewis said, “It’s a bittersweet time.”
For more information on Asbestos, there are resources online that can be looked into. One is the EPA site directly referanced in this article—https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/asbestos-and-school-buildings. Another site belongs to OSHA—https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/. A third website belongs to Oregon State University—https://ehs.oregonstate.edu/asb-when.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.