MANSFIELD — The $4 million project to demolish and remediate former Westinghouse properties on Mansfield’s east side is officially underway.

R&D Excavating of Crestline is handling the project to knock down the former “A” building at 200 Fifth St.; the adjoining 13-acre concrete slab; and a nearby vacant building, most recently owned by Electrolux, based in North Carolina.

The Richland County Land Bank and the demolition company, owned by David Barnhart and Ryan Lykins, signed contracts for the project Sept. 8 to remove one of the longest-standing industrial eyesores in the city.

The buildings and properties have sat idle since Westinghouse, which once employed thousands of local residents, ceased operations in Mansfield at the end of 1990.

The State of Ohio is providing $3 million toward the project. Richland County commissioners and Mansfield City Council have both approved spending $500,00 each on the effort. Both local entities are using federal funds obtained through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Barnhart said the former Electrolux building, located on the north side of Fifth Street, was knocked down last week and efforts to remove the concrete slab were underway on Tuesday.

At the same time, asbestos was being removed Tuesday from the former “A” building by Erie Environmental of Sandusky, a sub-contractor on the project.

A large blue lift was visible working on the east side of the building as material was removed by Erie crews on the building’s interior.

It was all good news to Richland County Commissioner Tony Vero, a Land Bank member who helped to launch the demolition and clean-up effort more than a year ago.

“We are please that the demolition and remediation process is underway,” Vero said Tuesday afternoon.

“We look forward to cleaning up the former Westinghouse site and hopefully returning it back to the productive and useful part of the city that it once was,” he said.

Barnhart said crews unexpectedly found found three large concrete pits at the Electrolux site, which he said were once apparently used as part of a water treatment plant.

He said the pits, estimated to be about 15-feet across, were at least 15 feet deep and will have to be removed.

“Hopefully by the end of the week we will have the machine over there to start jackhammering them out,” Barnhart said. “I am not sure how deep they are, but we were 15 feet down and they are deeper than that.”

He said the asbestos removal work was going as scheduled, work that must be complete before demolition of the “A” building can begin.

“We hope to (begin demolition of the “A” building) by the end of December, beginning of January,” Barnhart said. “It may be sooner.”

Work on the 13-acre concrete pad east of the “A” building will also begin shortly.

Chuck Hahn, Cleveland Financial Group, invests in this independent reporting through a Newsroom Partnership. Learn more about Newsroom Partnerships.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...

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