Published on March 07, 2013
The deadline is now past for the owner to demolish the old Digby Academy. Council may discuss the next step on March 18.
Published on June 23, 2013
Members of Kentville’s public works department moved the cornerstone from the former Kings County Academy to the Kings County Museum. - Submitted
Demolition of the Digby Academy will begin in two weeks.
R.L. Harvey Limited will start tearing down the Red School on Wednesday, Sept. 25 and expects to be more or less finished four days later on Saturday.
The courthouse parking lot will be closed during the demolition for safety and because trucks will be coming and going with debris.
Spectators will be asked to stay back as far as Queen Street.
Digby’s special constable Richard Parry says the building itself will come down quickly; the sorting and hauling away of debris will take the majority of the time allotted.
During the demolition, the focus will be on keeping the east (or water-facing) wall from falling outwards.
The contractor will also take steps to retrieve a time capsule buried under the northeast corner of the building.
Parry says the contractor has experience retrieving time capsules – R.L. Harvey was the contractor who earlier this year tore down the Kings County Academy in Kentville– also a two-storey brick school.
Parry says the time capsule will remain closed until a public opening can be arranged involving the town, the Masons and the Admiral Digby Museum.
Once the building is down, a town employee will use the town’s backhoe to move a front-end loader’s worth of bricks to a nearby safe location for people interested in a souvenir.
Digby town council officially accepted the Hants County contractor’s bid of $23,850 at a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4 and the contractor signed the contract later that week.
The tender stipulated that work was to begin a week after the signing but the town and the contractor have agreed to delay the demolition to coincide with a lull in activity at the courthouse next door.
Parry believes the work will be mostly done by the end of the day Saturday, Sept. 28 but he says some of the backfilling, remediation and grading of the site may take a little longer.
The 112-year-old building was last used as a school in 1984.
The most recent report on the building by the town’s building inspector deemed the building unsafe “because of the danger of falling through the floors and the potential of a ceiling collapse.”
Council ordered the building’s demolition in January of this year after months and years of hoping something could be done to save the building.
The owners, Questionable Ventures Inc., did not act on the order and the town is now undertaking the demolition and will add the costs to the owner’s tax bill.
The town has spent another $2,000 to have asbestos removed from the building.
Saving a slab of Kentville's history [June 23, 2013]