Fenton demolition begins Monday

WILLIAMSTOWN — Crews are expected on Monday to begin demolishing the Fenton Art Glass plant and gift shop.

Wood County Schools purchased the property surrounding the plant and will buy the remaining property when the factory is demolished. The property will be the site of the new Williamstown-Waverly Elementary School.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Fling, who oversees facilities for the district and has been lead administrator on the school project, said during a meeting two weeks ago, officials were told the demolition is scheduled to begin Dec. 4.

“The contract is signed,” he said.

George Fenton, president of Fenton Art Glass, said Reclaim Company of Fairmont, W.Va., will be handling the demolition, which should take about four months to complete.

Both said the first month would be spent doing work inside the building, including asbestos abatement. Actual demolition of the building should begin after the first of the year, Fenton said.

Fling said officials are looking to put out the school project for bid in January. Since the majority of the new school will be built on the parking lot of the Fenton gift shop and factory, the two projects will be able to continue at the same time.

“There will be some overlap” in the timelines, Fling said. “They’ll be finishing up by the time we mobilize.”

Officials with the school system hope to begin core drillings this month for the new building’s footers.

Fenton, who has worked with the school system for more than a year to secure the former factory as the site of the new school, said he has mixed feelings about demolition.

“It’s something that needs to be done and we’re very positive about how the property is going to be used,” he said, “but it will be a sad time when the building starts to be demolished.”

The family-owned Fenton Art Glass was established in 1905 and the plant built in 1907. Officials in 2007 announced plans to close the plant. Fenton Art Glass ceased operations in July 2011.

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