A planned rail spur will help keep traffic to a minimum when hauling waste from the Bannister Federal Complex. Future plans may include tracks at shown in this rendering.
South KC Perspective
Demolishing Bannister Federal Complex Could Be A 4-Year Process
By John Sharp
A spokesman for CenterPoint Properties explained many details of the company’s demolition safety plan for the vacant Bannister Federal Complex at a public meeting the firm hosted April 11 at Center High School.
CenterPoint is the designated redeveloper for the site and is awaiting federal approval (which is expected later this year) of an agreement to transfer ownership of the site to it and to pay it for demolition and cleanup of extensive contamination at the site.
Kevin Breslin, an attorney and development advisor for CenterPoint, said the company has hired the best demolition contractor it could find in the nation – Chicago based Brandenburg Industrial Service Company – to assure the demolition work is done properly and safely.
“We had access to every nook and cranny,” said Brandenburg Vice President Dennis McGarel, who noted his firm was allowed to do an invasive and intensive inspection of buildings at the complex which turned up asbestos, beryllium, contaminated paint, PCBs and other regulated wastes.
Breslin said to assure the surrounding community will not experience any health hazards from the demolition that there will be decontamination units for entering and exiting the full containment areas where interior demolition is taking place. He noted air from the containment areas will be filtered before being discharged, and waste will be double-bagged and sealed.
The interior demolition and remediation is expected to take 12 to 14 months when little activity will be visible from the outside before the exterior building walls will be demolished. Breslin explained that “glorified snow machines” will be used to spray building exteriors to minimize dust, and that runoff from that process will be captured in sediment control basins with filtration systems before it is discharged.
He said there will be perimeter dust monitoring around the site and even the tires on trucks taking debris from the site will be washed before leaving.
Breslin said CenterPoint plans to open a rail spur that can be used to transport hazardous debris from the site to the specialized landfills that can legally accept such material, so that there will be much less truck traffic to and from the site than many people feared. He said this traffic will be routed on Bannister Rd. to U.S. 71 Highway to minimize its proximity to residential areas.
He assured residents that the demolition will involve no blasting, that it will be done during normal working hours and that there will be 24-hour security on site.
Breslin said he hopes the complex will be transferred to CenterPoint in late summer. He said the company will get to work immediately once the property is transferred and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has granted new permits regulating the demolition and cleanup.
He explained it will take about two years to complete building demolition and then about two more years to cleanup soil contamination, much of which can’t be done until demolition is complete. However, he said the company will try to complete both processes in three and a half years.
CenterPoint has repeatedly stated that once demolition and cleanup is completed it intends to construct about 1.8 million square feet of industrial and distribution facilities on the site, with the possibility of retail and commercial facilities on the southwest corner of the site by the intersection of Bannister Rd. and Troost outside the flood wall.
Breslin said CenterPoint will host another community meeting in June to discuss in more detail its future development plans for the property.
The Marine Corps data center will remain on the site.
Bannister Complex DNR Hearing
The next step in the redevelopment process for the Bannister Federal Complex will be a public meeting and hearing conducted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to discuss a draft hazardous waste permit modification and a proposed final remedy for dealing with soil and groundwater contamination at the site.
The public meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at Center High School followed by a public hearing at 6:30.
In preparation for the transfer of the approximately 227-acre complex to a private redeveloper, DNR has made draft modifications to the hazardous waste permit given to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the General Services Administration (GSA) that will only go into effect if the property is transferred.
The draft permit modifications and proposed final remedy will be discussed at the public meeting. Representatives of DOE also will be available at the meeting to discuss the process for transferring the complex.
At the hearing, persons will be able to have their comments about the draft permit modifications and the proposed final remedy entered into the official record.
Bond Work to Start
The city has announced that City Manager Troy Schulte is putting the final touches on a plan for the first year’s construction projects to be financed by the 20-year $800 million bond proposals city voters approved April 4 so that construction can start this summer.
In a statement issued the day after the three bond proposals passed, Schulte said the goal is to submit a balanced plan for the first $40 million in bond proceeds to the City Council and the Public Improvements Advisory Committee I serve on by the first week of May.
“We’ll start with shovel-ready projects, the backlog of spot sidewalk repairs and the design work and construction needed for the animal shelter,” Schulte said.
The statement noted there is a $6 million backlog for spot repairs of sidewalks, and Schulte wants to devote $7.5 million to clear the backlog and do targeted sidewalk improvements in priority areas.
It also said much of the prioritization for the initial projects to be funded by bond proceeds is being based on the existing Citywide Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan. That plan includes the third and final phase of 135th St. improvements from Wornall Rd. west to Inverness Dr. and reconstructing the portions of Blue River Rd. where the subsurface of the road is sliding into the river.
Being open on Sunday afternoons is one of the improvements in library operations that area residents attending an April 13 meeting said they want at the Red Bridge Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL).
The vast majority of persons attending the meeting at the branch in the Red Bridge Shopping Center favored establishing Sunday hours, and many expressed support for later Friday hours. Nobody asked for the branch to open earlier in the morning, which MCPL Assistant Director Susan Wray said was consistent with public sentiment expressed at recent meetings at other library branches.
The Red Bridge Branch now is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 to 6 Friday and from 9 to 5 Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.
Residents attending the meeting also voiced support for greatly expanding the branch’s collections of printed and electronic materials, providing enclosed meeting rooms, and offering more opportunities for high school and college students to practice and improve their test-taking skills for college and graduate school admission.
The meeting was one of a series of meetings MCPL is hosting at all its branches to seek public opinion on how library services can be customized to best serve the needs of surrounding communities following passage last November of an increase in its property tax levy.
Funds from the levy hike will be used to renovate or replace its existing branches, construct a small number of new branches and enhance library services.
MCPL originally planned to only renovate the Red Bridge Branch but now intends to replace the 29-year-old facility with a larger one in a new building in the shopping center to be shared with Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City. (I actually cut the ribbon for the current facility on April 21, 1987.)
The museum has announced it hopes to break ground for the joint facility, which is to include a 300-seat shared auditorium, in 2018.
Wray said MCPL plans to also include enclosed small collaboration rooms and larger community meeting rooms in its new facility.
Significant physical improvements will undoubtedly have to wait until the new branch is constructed, but certain service improvements that don’t require more space can begin before then.
(At the meeting, Assistant Branch Manager Steven Bellah announced the branch will be closed from April 19 to May 2 for parking lot construction as part of the renovation of the shopping center. UPDATE: The opening date has been delayed due to rain.)
Passes to The Bay
Persons may purchase season passes to The Bay Water Park on Longview Rd. just east of Blue Ridge Blvd. for discounted rates through May 15.
Passes for seniors age 60 and over and for children less than 48 inches tall are now only $50, and passes for all others are now only $60. The cost for all passes goes up $9 starting May 16.
The Bay is open from May 27 through September 4. Passes can be purchased at city community centers or online at KCparks.org.
No More Trash! Bash
The Missouri Departments of Conservation and Transportation are seeking volunteers to participate in litter cleanup activities during the state’s annual No More Trash! Bash which runs until May 15.
The program focuses on cleaning up litter in parks and along rivers, streams, trails and roadsides. Each participant will receive a formal thank you and a No More Trash! Pin.
Persons may obtain more information and learn how to participate at www.nomoretrash.org or by calling 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).
Hillcrest Community Center, 10401 Hillcrest Rd., is hosting a free health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 28, to allow city residents to speak with representatives of different area healthcare providers and organizations and obtain lifestyle advice.
Free blood pressure checks, blood glucose level checks and hearing screenings will be available, and persons who complete a health survey will receive a free goodie bag.
Summer enrichment camp starts at the Center on June 5 for children from 6 through 13 years old. Camp runs for 10 weeks through August 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost per child is $80 a week, or only $640 for all 10 weeks, a 20% discount, if paid in full by May 1.
Camp includes arts, games, sports, swimming and weekly field trips with an emphasis on outdoor activities such as archery and fishing.
For more information persons may contact Jillian Haynes, senior recreation director at the Center, at email@example.com or by calling 816-513-8560.