TPS Breaks Ground On New Building, Begins Demolition On Another - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

TPS Breaks Ground On New Building, Begins Demolition On Another

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Tulsa Public Schools kicked off construction of a new building Thursday morning, just before demolition started at another campus.

The demolition of Barnard Elementary started Thursday morning.

In 40 days, the building will be cleared away, so a decision can be made about what to do with the land.

A track hoe started picking apart the unstable, fire damaged walls of Barnard Elementary.

9/5/2012 Related Story: Caught On Video: Fire, Explosion Destroy Tulsa School Of Arts And Sciences

With no support from the burned out structure, it didn't take much effort to make the walls come down.

The demolition work will stop once the unstable sections are down.

"That will make it safe for the abatement workers to go inside, starting next Monday, to take care of the asbestos coated materials," said David McAfee, of DT Demolition.

Tulsa Public Schools is saving a few architectural elements for preservation, but the bricks will be taken away by the demolition company.

"We'll take all the brick back to our yard. We'll clean them and palletize them. Sometimes we sell them wholesale, sometimes to individuals," McAfee said.

As the demolition was beginning, a groundbreaking was held for a new field house at Memorial High School.

It's going to go up alongside LaFortune Stadium, but will serve all the other sports teams that have small or scattered space for practice.

9/11/2012 Related Story: Tulsa School Fire Started In Lab, Ruled Accidental By ATF Investigators

Memorial's longtime athletic director calls it a dream come true.

"For years, we didn't have a locker room for our track and field boys and girls, our soccer boys and girls, our baseball boys, but all that will be included," said Robert Sprague.

It's going to be called the Memorial Veteran's Arena and it is being decorated to highlight the school's heritage.

The $12-million building will have seating for 1,200 fans.

It's the third and last field house from Tulsa's current round of construction.

TPS bond director Bob LaBass said, "We had a big effort on this bond to improve the athletic facilities. We're also getting ready to improve the stadium over here."

While this is a demolition job, it's also a recycling job.

The materials are being picked apart, and the company doing the work said about 80% of the building materials would be re-used in some way.

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