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Norwood seeks low bidder for school debris cleanup

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NORWOOD — The village is looking for contractors to clean up the remaining debris of the former Norwood Elementary School.

“We’re going out to bid for it now,” Mayor James H. McFaddin said.

The school was damaged beyond repair in a suspected arson fire in 2009. A series of financial and legal difficulties delayed cleanup until 2012, when about 80 percent of the asbestos-contaminated debris was hauled to a landfill.

Plenty of debris still litters the site, including the front wall of the school. The second of three cleanup phases will remove the rest of the visible remnants. The school’s entryway may remain standing, part of a memorial park dedicated to the building, which was constructed in 1885.

GYMO Architecture, Engineering & Land Surveying, Watertown, will tour the site with interested contractors on May 30. Cleanup will begin in late summer or early fall.

This year’s work will cost about the same as last year’s, about $20,000. It will take one to two weeks.

“It’s not going to be a lengthy process,” Mr. McFaddin said.

Original estimates said cleanup would cost up to $325,000 because of dangerous asbestos on site. Norwood received a site-specific variance last year to remove the contaminated debris and dispose of it off site, at a much lower cost.

A wing of the school built in the 1980s remains standing. The village will pay to clean and repair any damage to this wing, then look into possible uses for the space.

“We’re going to clean it up, and whoever ends up with that building will finish it to their satisfaction,” Mr. McFaddin said.

Renovations on the wing probably will begin next year.

Village leaders have not decided how to develop the 11-acre plot, but several options have been discussed, including senior-citizen housing, according to Mr. McFaddin.

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