VIENNA - Demolition of the former Johns Manville plant is continuing and officials hope the site will open up for development.
Bob Childers, a Huntington developer and owner of Structure Resources Inc. and Childers Properties, bought the 35-acre property in July.
Demolition has begun under the guidelines of the state's Voluntary Remediation Program to clean up contaminated sites and redevelop abandoned and under-utilized properties, Childers said.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
The Johns Manville plant near Vienna is in the process of being torn down and the site cleaned up to open the site for development.
Childers hired Eaves Recycling Inc. of Huntington to handle the demolition. "We want to make sure the site is OK for development," Childers said of getting the certification process from the state.
"We have entered into the site," Childers said.
The first four months of the project have been an evaluation of the site and what is there.
Demolition of the former Johns Manville plant near Vienna continues under the guidelines of the West Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program to clean up contaminated sites, developer Bob Childers said.
The first four months of the project were spent evaluating what is there. Work has begun on asbestos assessment and removal. Childers estimates it will take a year to tear down the old plant.
"We are behind schedule," Childers said. "However, we have revised our schedule to adjust for our other work loads."
They have now budgeted for 12 months to handle the demolition work, he said.
"We will be taking down the plant for a year," Childers said.
Work on asbestos assessment and removal is under way.
They are also concentrating on small areas right now for demolition work.
"We are probably between 5-and-10 percent complete on demolition," Childers said.
The demolition will be done in sections.
Childers has said he did not want to go in and just start tearing down the property. He wanted to take it apart in a safe manner, removing things such as asbestos and other potential contaminates from the plant safely.
They have increased their scrap production and will be soon bringing in additional people and equipment to do more work, he said.
One property sale has already been held for some of the property parcels outside the plant's fence.
Childers said there were around 6 acres with 15 parcels outside the plant available for sale. Another sale will be planned in the future.
The plant originally opened in 1908 as a Vitrolite glass factory and began production in 1908 as the Meyercord-Carter Co. It became a Johns Manville plant in 1952 and continued for a number of years. Johns Manville is a manufacturer and marketer of building insulation, commercial roofing, roof insulation and specialty products for commercial, industrial and residential applications.
Childers specializes in doing "brownfield projects" involving cleaning up properties that might have had potentially hazardous chemicals on the property. Childers has done development projects in the Huntington area and elsewhere, including Commerce Park (a former brownfield project), Cabell Gateway, the Teays Commons business park, the East Hills Professional Center, the West Hills Professional Center, townhouse and apartment complexes.
Cam Huffman, president of the Area Roundtable, said preliminary talks have taken place about what will be built on the site.
"They want to sit down soon and discuss what they want to go on that site," he said. "They are taking a piece of property that has been underutilized and opening it up for economic development.
"They are also cleaning up a location that needed to be cleaned up. That is great for everyone."