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Lavalley building closer to demolition, removal

CORNWALL — Workers on Thursday began removing asbestos from the former Lavalley Store building in Cornwall village, a task that is expected to culminate in the demolition and removal of the structure before the end of the year.
The Cornwall selectboard on Oct. 2 awarded a $1,200 contract to Burlington-based TMC Corp. to remove asbestos from the 130-year-old structure located next to the town hall. The historic building was once used as a store and a residence by the Lavalley family. The structure has stood vacant for 15 years and was ultimately donated to the town by the Lavalley family in 2000. The community recently explored the possibility of restoring the structure to useful service, but that plan failed to gain momentum, in large part due to the estimated renovation cost of more than $500,000.
Cornwall officials, after gathering input from residents over the course of several years, set a plan into motion to raze the Lavalley building. That process began on Thursday when TMC workers began removing asbestos confined to siding in the southern exterior wall of the structure, according to Cornwall Town Clerk Sue Johnson.
Asbestos removal was expected to last only a day.
Now the town will follow a plan that calls for:
•  Determining what fixtures and equipment within the building the town should keep and which should be sold at public auction. The structure contains some interesting antiques, including display cases that were once integral to the store. The selectboard has agreed to have auctioneer Tom Broughton direct the sale. Some of the contents of the former store have already been relocated to the town’s DAR House.
•  Giving the go-ahead to Burnham Excavating to demolish and remove the building. Burnham Excavating offered to do the work for $11,000, a fee that includes grading and seeding the site.
“We are fairly confident that the building will be gone by the end of the year,” Johnson said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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