LAKEWOOD RANCH — A pile of rubble is now the only visible evidence of the failed hockey arena project off Center Ice Parkway.
Crews from C & M Road Builders were slated to finish the demolition of the structure this week, after The East County Observer had gone to press.
“To me, it’s a non-event,” Schroeder-Manatee Ranch President and CEO Rex Jensen said of the demolition, adding he’d like to see workforce housing go on the site. “I’m serious about getting back into the market. I’m wanting to get something serious going.”
Bill Jarvis, vice president of commercial construction for Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty, said demolition of the project began about a month ago, starting with the interior of the existing structure. He and C & M owner Mark McCabe took members of the media out Nov. 6 to watch construction crews lower four of about 13 remaining wall panels.
From a concrete base, construction crews first unbolted steel bars, which were holding the 70-ton concrete panels upright, before giving the panels a slight push and watching them crash to the ground with a thunderous boom. Panels then were to be picked up in segments and turned into to crushed concrete, which can be used for road base, McCabe said.
“We’re going to take our time and do it as we need it,” McCabe said of crushing the concrete.
Jarvis said the concrete, rebar and other materials being demolished will be recycled.
“Crushed concrete is a very valuable commodity,” he said, noting several road projects are underway thanks to federal stimulus dollars. “One-hundred percent of everything being demolished is being recycled. It’s good it can at least be reused.”
McCabe said each 70-ton panel produces about 8,000 tons of road base, which amounts to about 9,000 feet of roadway — or nearly two miles.
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