Last week, the city gave the go-ahead for the demolition of the People's Hardware and Supply Building. On Monday, Kenway Contracting brought the brick buildings down.
First, Raybold and Sons had to remove asbestos from the buildings at 631 and 633 College St., Kenway President Kenneth Allen said.
"But they got all that done and gave me the go-ahead," Allen said. "We wanted to wait and do it when there wasn't anyone in the trailers next to (Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center). Since the building is two stories, you don't know what is going to happen."
The buildings, which sit right on the sidewalk, also could have fallen into the street. "But thanks to a good operator, everything went as planned," he said.
Still, precautions were taken. The trailers used as SKyPAC offices were shielded with plywood and 2 inches of insulation board were laid on top, in case the bricks fell that way.
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon and Warren County Sheriff Peanuts Gaines watched the demolition to make sure everything went smoothly.
"He's like an artist," Buchanon noted of the operator.
Trackhoe operator Dwight McComas said everything came down as planned, with only a few bricks making it into the street, which had been blocked off.
"This was actually one of the easier ones," McComas said.
Allen said there wasn't much worth salvaging inside the buildings, which were constructed in the 1920s as a hardware store and a grocery.
"The roof was caved in and the wood was rotten," he said.
Workers Terry Adamson and Brian Andrews hauled off some steel beams that had been over some of the windows.
"He will be able to use these for something later," Adamson said.
Allen had considered salvaging some of the bricks, "but the labor costs are really more than it would be worth to salvage," he said. "Most of it is really soft clay brick."
What demolition materials weren't hauled away from the site Monday will be disposed of today at a landfill.
"It already looks better - now you can see the (SKyPAC) building," Buchanon said.
Buchanon said the county transferred ownership of the property in December to SKyPAC as part of the overall financing package.
"So the ultimate decision about what will happen to the land will be up to the SKyPAC board," Buchanon said. "For now, I think it will be just for green space. It is large enough for a ... café or something like that."
SKyPAC Executive Director Tom Tomlinson said that the the area initially will be landscaped so it will be part of an attractive entrance to the building.
"And we will continue to look at other opportunities, but we haven't made any decisions," he said.
Meanwhile, Tomlinson said SKyPAC's ticket office will remain in the trailers until opening night March 10.
"The following week, the trailers will be moved," he said. The construction trailers will follow shortly after.
"The inside of the building is looking great and ticket sales are beyond our expectations," he said. "Everything is aiming toward our March 10 opening."
- For more information about SKyPAC or its season, go to theskypac.com.