The town on Thursday took a step toward demolishing the ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’ by putting out a formal request for bids from companies to raze the widely discussed structure, New Canaan’s highest elected official said.
The bids are due back Oct. 18, Kevin Moynihan said during a press briefing held Thursday morning at Town Hall.
“This is very ministerial at this point,” he said.
The Brick Barn is slated for demolition Oct. 23, after the town issued a 90-day delay in August.
Even after the town selects a demolition company, the Board of Selectmen—Moyinhan as well as Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams—must approve the contract with the company. The board appeared to be divided on the matter at its Sept. 18 meeting, yet when asked if he expected the selectmen to approve the demo contract, Moynihan said, “I have confidence they will.”
“We are on schedule to do what the town bodies approved, so it should not be a surprise to anyone,” he said.
The Brick Barn, known at the time as the ‘Richmond Hill Garage,’ had been slated for demolition in 2009 and 2010, but the estimated remediation costs due to contaminants soared to about $400,000.
A new, far smaller figure of $65,000 emerged during last budget season. Explaining the change, public works officials said the town had a new environmental analysis done by a firm and separate consultant, using reports from 2004 and 2008. They found that because the weight of the brick outweighed the lead, the wrecked Brick Barn could be disposed of as “not hazardous material,” driving down the cost.
Moynihan in May broke a 6-6 tie on the Town Council to include that $65,000 as part of a larger bonding package to demolish the building. Members of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance in July approached the town about a plan to save the building that Moynihan dismissed as not viable. After filing a formal objection to the demolition to earn the 90-day delay, member of the NCPA returned with a more fleshed-out vision for the Brick Barn’s preservation.
In recent weeks, the NCPA has launched a website dedicated to its preservation efforts. The organization asks that those interested in saving the Barn visit the site.