Century-old downtown Dayton building will be imploded Saturday

Courtesy of the Associated Press

The 12-story Schwind building will be blasted in a way that it will collapse onto itself and the vacant former Dayton Daily News building downtown at 7:15 a.m. Saturday, the contractor managing the demolition said Monday.

Scott Wells, Senior Project Manager for Steve Rauch Inc., said security preparations will clear streets and buildings within a two-block area, so the building’s collapse won’t be easily visible to observers unless they are watching from a higher floor in a downtown building.

The demolition shouldn’t harm nearby buildings, Wells said, predicting that the sound and rumble of the collapse will be about the equivalent of a 20-ton dump truck going over a speed bump.

About 50 pounds of dynamite will be used in the implosion, with charges placed on the first and second floors as well as the fifth and eighth floors. The building has already been mostly gutted, Wells said. “It will mostly fall on itself, but also on the Dayton Daily News building,” Wells said.

Although plans aren’t completely finalized, it’s expected that rooms at the Grand Hotel next door close to the demolition will be kept vacant and patrons will have restricted building access to the hotel before, during and immediately after the demolition, Wells said.

The building’s support pillars will be linked with cables on the third, sixth and ninth floors to make sure the building falls correctly, he added. It will mark the end of the building at 25-27 South Ludlow Street. The remainder of the demolition will be done with mechanical equipment. It should wrap up by the beginning of December.

The Schwind was constructed of reinforced concrete in 1913 - the year of the Great Flood - and has at times been known as the Gibbons Hotel Annex, Ludlow Manor Apartments, and Moraine Apartments.

Cameras will be set up to record the event and sonic devices will record the shocks. A no-fly zone established over the site, Wells said.

Wells gave this sequence for the demolition: At 3 a.m., there will be a safety meeting and the building will be draped to reduce debris from flying about. Later, police using canines will sweep nearby parking garages and other locations to ensure onlookers are not present and the streets will be blocked.

At 7:05 a.m., a siren will be activated - the ten minute warning. There will be a four minute warning, then a final 10 second countdown, followed by the detonation of explosives.

“There will be a number of shocks, followed by a rumble and dust plume,” Wells said.

The demolition will make room for a large student housing development that will to cost $22 million and house hundreds of students.


©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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