Originally created 03/05/02

Park's building phase is started



Demolition in the 800 block of Broad Street is 95 percent complete.

"All five buildings are now demolished and removed and we are now removing the concrete and asphalt from the parking area on Reynolds Street," said Hiram Thompson, the president of Thompson Wrecking Co. Inc.

"The only thing left to do is backfill the basements of the old board of health and Rayless buildings."

The projects general contractor, Advanced Outdoor Services of Columbia, is installing the foundation for the park building, water lines and storm drains, Mr. Thompson said.

Augusta Common, a $3.4 million park with an athletic field, lawn area, sidewalks, lights and a fountain, will be the site of community events and festivals.

"The job is progressing fairly well on schedule," Mr. Thompson said. "We've had some issues with common walls, and we've had to take extra care to make sure we didn't damage adjacent walls."

Thompson Wrecking salvaged about 250,000 bricks from the five buildings and 60,000 feet of heart pine lumber that has been sold to a local milling company and is being used for flooring, cabinets and paneling, Mr. Thompson said.

"We're already selling some of the brick," he said.

Workers also have found some interesting artifacts, mainly in the basements of the old buildings, including glassware dating back to 1808, bottles and ceramic jars, Mr. Thompson said.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylviaco@augustachronicle.com.

Construction has begun on Augusta Common, the city's downtown park.