Asbestos contamination delays War Memorial demolition in Greensboro

by YES! Weekly staff

Asbestos hazard sign at War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro.

City Officials are concerned about harmful asbestos exposure that took place this summer at the War Memorial Auditorium.

According to city emails, the city became aware of the issue in early October after an Enpuricon representative (abatement contractor) walked the auditorium. The abatement contractor’s concern led to a meeting between City of Greensboro Construction Project Manager Brandon Hill and an asbestos testing agent from Trinity Environmental.

On Oct. 13, Hill wrote an email that described the meeting.

“What we found was the worst case scenario of what we tried to warn staff about in August. By allowing the scrappers and everyone else to come into the building before it was abated has caused a rather large issue. There is asbestos on the floors that needs to be removed ASAP”¦”

Hill ended his email by ordering the building to be evacuated.

“No one should be allowed in the building from this point on. Anyone working in the building should be removed. The doors are to be covered with plywood and taped. No one should enter the building.”

The Auditorium, which was built in 1959, is scheduled for demolition and has been closed since September. Today, the entrance doors are littered with asbestos warning signs. Printed on the red tape stuck across the doors are the words, “Danger” and “Asbestos Hazard.”

A city employee close to this situation that wished to remain anonymous initially reported the asbestos issue to YES! Weekly.

“The city had the coliseum maintenance staff doing clean up and pre-demolition work all summer. Some of the guys that were hired as painters would end the day covered in that stuff,” the employee said.

Enpuricon had been scheduled to begin asbestos abatement in early October, but the work had to be delayed until clean up was completed. A company representative said the work is set to resume on Dec. 29.

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