BRIDGEPORT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (05/14/19) - Bridgeport Township's now-closed governmental center is coming down.
Mead and Sons Contracting has been hired to tear apart the building which went up in 1980.
It was built atop a landfill. At the time township leaders were assured the location would not be a problem.
However, last year methane gas seeped into the building forcing its permanent closure.
"Sad," said Bridgeport Township Manager Rose Licht. "Sad that it's really happening."
In recent weeks asbestos was removed, emergency responders trained here, and anything salvageable was pulled out and packed away.
There's also a focus on recycling. "As they are going through they are pulling off all of the metal and steel from building and they'll recycle that, along with all the brick. They'll recycle that as well. Anything they can recycle they're going to recycle," Licht said.
Contractors unearthed a surprise ahead of demolition. Behind the cornerstone there was a time capsule.
Licht said the time capsule was open so they looked inside.
"So we have a newspaper article from Bridgeport, we have it from Saginaw News, we have who was on the township board, the employees," Licht said. "Copies of envelopes from water bills and ordinances, and so for. Everything that was in place back in 1980, so that was interesting to see all of that."
When demolition and clean up are complete the land will become green space. Already Davis Park sits next to the land along the Cass River.
Next up township leaders need to figure out what the future holds.
Temporarily township offices were moved a few miles down Dixie Highway into an old church.
"We are talking right now with the architects looking to see what we can do, and looking to see if we're going to stay where we're at. Renovate it, add on, or if we're going to build new and where that would be and so forth. So we're in the early stages of that," Licht explained.
Township leaders do not have a timeline for when a decision will be made about a permanent home for the governmental center.