|After much delay and anticipation, the Navy says it will be announcing whether it will demolish Moffett Field's historic Hangar One within the next two weeks.
The Navy is putting the "finishing touches" on a report evaluating options for Hangar One, home of the USS Macon airship in the 1930s, and the announcement will come "if not next week, the week after," said Navy spokesperson Darren Newton to the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board on Thursday.
A public hearing on the announcement is tentatively set for Aug. 20. Newton said the Navy is looking to reserve the American Legion Hall in Santa Clara to make room for as many as 500 people wishing to comment. Due to lack of space, people were turned away from a similar meeting in 2005 after the Navy announced it would demolish the historic structure.
What exactly the Navy -- which left Moffett in 1994 -- will propose in the coming days remains uncertain. After the hangar's siding was found to be toxic, with PCBs running off it and into the groundwater, the Navy at first hoped to rid itself of the problem once and for all through demolition. But after years of pressure from citizens groups to preserve the hangar, many seem to think the Navy and the federal government are trying to accommodate the public's wishes.
"My best guess is still that the Navy will propose to remove the Galbestos siding/roof, coat or scrape the frame and leave the building's skeleton to NASA -- the current owner," said Lenny Siegel, founder of the Save Hangar One Committee, in an e-mail.
The Save Hangar One Committee is organizing a meeting to discuss the announcement sometime during the week of Aug. 4. The group says it has collected thousands of signatures in a campaign to re-skin the hangar with a Teflon fiberglass fabric.
Newton says the public will be notified of the announcement through its mailing list, newspaper ads, news releases, phone calls to local officials and through the Navy's Web site at www.bracpmo.navy.mil. There will be a 45-day public comment period, and written comments will be accepted.
More information is available at www.savehangarone.org.
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