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February 25, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, February 25, 2005

Pardon my dust! Pardon my dust! (February 25, 2005)

Pains taken to ease demolition at Emporium site

By Allison Gerard

Despite the rain, a crowd gathered at the old Emporium site last week to watch the first crane take a swing at the building during a demolition ceremony.

The destruction will continue for two months and be followed by two years of construction before the new Camino Medical Group out-patient medical center is opened in spring 2007.

Local residents will need to adjust to the traffic and noise emanating from a site that has sat virtually empty since the 1994 closing of the Emporium building.

"People are used to a vacant site with no traffic for the last 10 years, and now it's going to be a hub of activity," said Camino Medical Group spokesperson Cynthia Greaves.

The medical group is working closely with the construction company and neighbors to minimize any inconveniences the demolition or construction will have on the area, she said.

"We have talked with the area apartments about the demolition and respect the fact that it's their home, and we're doing our best to keep them updated on what's going on," Greaves added.

Anyone who has questions or complaints about the construction can visit the Camino Medical Group's Web site at People can also sign up to receive e-mail updates about the construction.

DPR Construction is also reaching out to residents living within a 300-foot radius of the site.

"We have kept the local area very well informed by sending out announcements, and people can directly ask questions about construction activity at the Camino Medical Web site," said George Hurley, project executive for DPR Construction.

Leslie Murdock, a nearby Tahoe Terrace resident, said he feels any inconvenience due to the construction is a small price to pay for a quality facility.

"No matter what project was selected to go into the old Emporium site, there would have been a lengthy construction period which is an inconvenience, but that is the price of progress," said Murdock. "However, at the end of the day we get a good neighbor and a development that substantially enhances our city."

The demolition and construction is being conducted during business hours, which should help minimize the effect it has on traffic in the area, said Greaves. She also stressed that vehicles from the construction site aren't allowed to use surrounding neighborhood streets.

DPR conducted a sound test at Highway 85 during peak hours and compared it to the projected noise level of the construction site.

"We did a sound study, and the noise off of Highway 85 is considerably higher than any noise that's going to be on the job site," Hurley said.

DPR is also trying to reduce the amount of waste generated from the demolition of Emporium.

Demolition of the 297,000-square-foot Emporium will result in an estimated 25,000 tons of debris. DPR plans to recycle the wood and light-gauge metal from the building. The concrete will be crushed and re-used to build the parking structure and the complex's base support.

One hundred percent of the debris will be recycled, according to Hurley.

E-mail Allison Gerard at [email protected]

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