A seventy year old Grand Blanc landmark is being demolished
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (6/16/21) - A popular Grand Blanc landmark will soon be no more - marking the end of an era.
It’s happening at the Perry Innovation Center.
Time has not been kind over the past 70 years.
But, this old smokestack is not going down without a fight.
Work to begin demolition was supposed to begin Wednesday morning but was delayed because some ventilation ducts needed to be removed by it’s base.
There will be no big implosion due to the location of the chimney which is very close to the Perry Innovation Center.
Instead, construction equipment will peck away at the 85 foot tall structure - pushing bricks at the top down into its cavity.
When the smokestack’s height has been reduced far enough, it will then be toppled.
That has left some Grand Blanc residents feeling a bit of nostalgia.
Grand Blanc resident Edward Haiss said, “Originally, I wouldn’t have thought it would have bothered me. But, because I’ve always seen it, I get asked questions over the years about it. I didn’t have answers. But, still it became a big part of our history here.”
Another local, Shirley Eason commented, “It’s always sad to see landmarks come down in the community. Even though it’s a safety issue. And, it’s been a part of our community for the last fifty some years.”
The smokestack was built in the early 50s to accommodate a larger heating system at the old Grand Blanc High School - now the Perry Innovation Center.
Unfortunately - previous repair efforts couldn’t save the chimney.
The chimney also no longer served a function after being de-commissioned for decades.
The decision was finally made to bring it down - coinciding with the building’s centennial anniversary.
“It’s a safety concern we have. It’s starting to erode. Brick is de-laminating and falling apart and falling onto the ground. So, we’re real concerned fort the safety of anyone walking by,” added Grand Blanc Schools Director of Operations Jeff Cushman.
The smokestack is so popular, that several people I talked to have asked about getting a brick as a memento.
Cushman says they will try to save some of the bricks, but no decision has been made on what to do with them.
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