KPRC's old building gets demolished

HOUSTON - It was 45 years ago that KPRC’s Southwest Freeway location first came online. In 1972 it had the latest and greatest of technology, quickly becoming a camera shaped landmark.

However there’s only so much future you can build for.

“It’s sad in one way but I guess it’s a sign of progress, and so we’re moving forward,” Troy Ireland said.

Troy is a project executive with DPR Construction and one of the guys overseeing the now old station’s demolition. It’s a more detailed process than you might think.

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“Obviously we’ve got a proximity issue to the building that we just built for you guys next door so we have to be very careful about not interrupting any service, keeping you guys online,” Ireland said. “Taking down the skin to expose the structure and then working on demo’ing the structure a bay at a time so that we can do it at a controlled pace.”

Plus as they’re going, they’re sorting.

“The red iron, steel will be recycled, they’ll take it and they’ll reuse it for, melt it down and reuse it for later,” Ireland said. “The metals also will be reused and the concrete itself, this is primarily a concrete structure-built building. The concrete will be recycled and they’ll use that for base rock for roads and a variety of things like that.”

Even though this is the first day walls are coming down, demolition actually began four and a half weeks ago.

“You’re unhooking all the utilities, whether it be power or water or whatever it is that serves the building, and you get it to where it's independent from everything and disconnected if you will. And once all that’s complete, then you go through and you do the abatement of materials,” Ireland said.

It has truly been a group effort to bring this size building down, and that doesn’t stop with the remaining stages.

“They have daily huddles. We talk about what we’re doing that day, what we want to accomplish, and they’re on radios. They’re constantly communicating to each other, the owner of the company and the operators and our supervision are in communication with each other to make sure that everyone is seeing different things and analyzing, making sure that we know what we’re doing. And if somebody sees something, we tap the brakes so to speak,” Ireland said.

It will take crews and their giant machines about two weeks to demolish the entire building. That is followed by three weeks of debris cleanup and then three months of construction that will turn this site into the new KPRC parking lot.

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