Asbestos removal will add to cost of demolishing building in Wichita, Kansas

The demolition of the old Coleman building, the former location of the Coleman Company in Wichita, Kansas, will cost more to demolish because of asbestos found in 65,000 square feet of roofing materials.

The Wichita Eagle reported the demolition, expected to begin later this month, will cost $120,000 more than estimated.

The Sedgwick County Commission approved the county’s purchase of the property for $600,000 to provide additional parking in downtown Wichita for the nearby Intrust Bank Arena.

Asbestos removal is frequently done in advance of demolition to prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne and a health danger to anyone in the vicinity. The hazardous mineral is linked to lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis and has been the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits in recent years.

Assistant County Manager Ron Holt told the newspaper that the Coleman Company had done some asbestos removal, but couldn’t guarantee the county that more wouldn’t be found.

The total cost to the county for the building purchase, demolition and asbestos removal is now estimated at more than $1.1 million. That also includes spending about $100,000 to salvage some bricks and arches from the historic building to use in the design of the parking lot planned at the site.