Two years after the Majestic Hotel fire, the City of Hot Springs can report significant progress that is highly visible to residents and visitors who travel past the “yellow brick” site, located at a major entryway to the city’s downtown district.
In less than 30 days after the January 25 onset of site work, Spirtas Wrecking Company of St. Louis, Missouri has removed 3,880 tons of debris from the site, resulting in 331 hauls in 30 cubic yard roll-off trucks by the Hot Springs Sanitation Department. “That means that debris removal is 90% complete,” said Sanitation Director Randy Atkinson. “We estimate only about two more days of debris hauling and we’ll be done.”
“There was a minimal amount of abatement required throughout the project,” said Public Works Director Denny McPhate. “Air quality levels, which were continually measured, fell well within acceptable parameters.”
Next Monday, Spirtas will begin demolishing the three-story laundry building, a change order to the original project RFP. The resulting brick and concrete will help with overall site grading. As a final step, the front wall yellow bricks will be palletized and saved for future use. City staff members will soon meet on-site to decide the details of how the “yellow brick” site will be left at the conclusion of Spirtas’ scope of work, which is anticipated to end within two weeks. The discussion will include safety fencing, drainage, appearance and more.
“Spirtas has been a very good contractor, and we’re very impressed with their work,” said Assistant City Manager Lance Spicer. “We’re probably 10 days ahead of schedule, partly due to their working six-day weeks. The Majestic complex is basically three dominoes. We’ve dropped the first one, and we look forward to entering the next two phases of the project in the near future.”
Majestic Hotel history and background
On August 25, 2015, the City of Hot Springs assumed ownership of the Majestic Hotel complex, a 5.1 acre site consisting of numerous buildings constructed between 1886 and 1962. The “yellow brick” portion of the Majestic Hotel succumbed to a massive fire on February 27, 2014. Despite public outcry and several date extensions granted by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the previous property owner never executed any rubble removal. All the buildings within the complex, left vacant and in disrepair, have been condemned and long considered unsafe by the city’s fire code standards. Following acceptance of a bid from Spirtas Wrecking Company for abatement and demolition services of the partially-demolished “yellow brick” portion, onsite work began on January 25, 2016.
The project scope involved demolition of approximately 70,954 square feet of remaining “yellow brick” building space; abatement and disposal of hazardous materials; salvaging of fixtures and building materials when feasible; removal and disposal of all construction debris; provision of required erosion and sediment control measures; and implementation of security for the buildings and grounds during the contract work. The contract also included removing the bricks from the front wall and palletizing them for future re-use.
Removal and disposal was conducted in compliance with all federal, state and local hazardous materials laws and guidelines. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), long consulted by the city regarding the property’s environmental impact, continued its involvement throughout the project.