METNWS-12-02-21 LAIDLAW DEMO_PHOTO

Schafer Excavation, LLC, of Pontoon Beach, does some clean up and dirt work on the former Laidlaw site on Tuesday, Nov. 23. HMG Engineers declared the demolition project complete the next day.

Friends of Fort Massac had something to be thankful for last week.

The demolition of the former Laidlaw site is done.

HMG Engineers did a walk-through of the property on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 24, with Schafer Excavation, LLC, of Pontoon Beach, the contractor that did the demolition, and declared the demolition project completed.

Demolition began on Nov. 2 and was completed on Nov. 24 — 22 days for 15 buildings, which included abatement.

“How far we’ve come in 22 days,” said Friends of Fort Massac (FoFM) president Mike Korte. “They did an excellent job of dressing up the area.”

In June, FoFM received a $200,000 grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Equal Opportunity for the demolition. The City of Metropolis also earmarked funding help with clean up of the property.

Korte noted there are some “relatively minor issues to be completed on the site” by Quint Utilities.

FoFM’s next big push is raising the funds to make the construction of Massac Village happen.

Massac Village will be a colonial village that depicts the city originally developed prior to Metropolis and was in tandem with the development of the military fort known as Fort Massac.

The Laidlaw property, which consisted of 10,000-square-feet of buildings, was built upon what is known to be the original settlement of Massac Village. The site was a vital part of Metropolis’ economy for decades with portions of the building complex dating back over 100 years, including, from 1903 starting as Metropolis Bending Co.; from 1937 to 1964 as the production site of Babee-Tenda; and Laidlaw Corp. from 1972 to 2002.

FoFM became the property owners in December 2013. Korte said the next step is landscaping the area in preparation for the village.

Donations designated toward Massac Village can be mailed to Friends of Fort Massac, P.O. Box 653, Metropolis, IL 62960. For more information, visit Friends of Fort Massac on Facebook.

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