An epic undertaking to restore Hangar One | September 6, 2019 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - September 6, 2019

An epic undertaking to restore Hangar One

Team lays out five-year plan to clean, re-skin iconic structure

by Mark Noack

Nearly 200 feet tall and the length of three football fields, Hangar One at Moffett Field is truly a gigantic structure. And true to its size, a plan to restore it faces some big challenges.

At a public meeting last week, representatives gave a walk-through of their plans to purge a variety of toxic contaminants from the hangar and eventually rehabilitate the structure for future use.

This first stage of the proposed cleanup plan is estimated to take at least three years and cost more than $157 million, which is expected to be paid entirely by Google's subsidiary Planetary Ventures. The price is daunting, but it's likely accurate given the huge scale of the cleanup effort, which would require $54 million just for temporary scaffolding, said John-Michael Phelps, Planetary Ventures project manager.

"As everything else is in the Bay Area, it's extremely expensive to do anything," he said. "Those are the most accurate numbers we had to go with. They're not padded."

The restoration project could be record-breaking in other ways. Speakers at the meeting opined that restoring Hangar One may be the largest cleanup effort of its kind ever attempted. The plan calls for a tight hazmat containment around the hangar's 1.8 million square feet of surface area. This area would be fully enclosed in a plastic covering to create a negative pressure environment to prevent any toxic compounds from escaping. Workers will begin blasting all of the hangar's surface with a copper slag in an effort to remove toxic lead and PCBs from its framework, possibly going at certain areas with chemical stripping solvents or hand tools.

Planners for the project say some aspects of the restoration are still being figured out. They expect to phase the project to work on specific areas of the hangar in sections, but they haven't decided yet how to divide up the job. An architecture firm is still determining the right "skin" paneling to cover the vast exterior of the hangar. Those architects are reportedly working with the California Historic Preservation Office to make sure any new hangar covering complies with preservation guidelines.

One way or another, Hangar One will be fully rehabilitated by 2025, the team promised. A crowd of Moffett Field's history fans was absolutely thrilled to hear that news.

"I'm just delighted that we're not taking this down," said Cupertino resident Tom Trankle. "For me, this would be like tearing down the Golden Gate Bridge."

Email Mark Noack at mnoack@mv-voice.com

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


All your news. All in one place. Every day.

 

THREE WEEKS TO GO!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Register now