Six buildings at EB being considered for demolition; one permit filed

Groton - Electric Boat Corp. has filed a permit application to demolish a building on Eastern Point Road, and City Mayor Marian Galbraith said Tuesday the company has discussed plans to take down six buildings.

Galbraith said the potential demolitions reflect the changing needs of the business.

"It's to accommodate the work that they're doing," she said. "It's not part of a downsizing."

Electric Boat spokesman Robert Hamilton said the company would not discuss future plans for buildings.

The company filed a demolition permit application last week for Building 47, an 8,750-square-foot structure known as Fairwater Store.

The listed contractor, Associated Building Wreckers Inc. of Springfield, Mass., wrote that it also plans to dispose of material from two other EB structures: Building 197, a 122,400-square-foot nuclear engineering building on Eastern Point Road, and Building 21, a 2,250-square-foot structure.

No demolition permit applications had been filed for either one as of Tuesday.

The three buildings - 47, 197, and 21 - have a combined assessed value of about $2.7 million and pay $68,290 in city and town taxes, according to figures provided by Groton Town Assessor Mary Gardner.

The demolition file also shows Electric Boat received coastal site plan approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission to move forward with demolishing six buildings. The document doesn't specify which six.

A proposed project timetable for Building 47 said workers would remove or abate hazardous materials at the site from Dec. 2 until Dec. 27. The building contains hazards such as lead and asbestos, and is made of wood, brick and concrete, the application said.

Demolition would take place Feb. 4 to Feb. 17, according to the application. The plan is to pull down the clapboard siding exterior, then use an excavator to take down the structure from top to bottom. Building 47 abuts two other buildings but is not structurally connected to them, so demolition would not affect their stability, the contractor said.

In a Nov. 18 letter to Groton City Building Official Carlton Smith, Electric Boat's Paul Williams wrote that the building is in poor condition and "any alternative uses would require a major renovation to occur."

Hamilton said three people work in Building 47 and would be moved to other company facilities.

The company recently informed the town of layoffs. Electric Boat told the town Nov. 8 that it had informed 115 employees they would be laid off in January.

The submarine manufacturer informed the state Department of Labor of its plans earlier this month. According to the company, "changing workforce requirements" led to the staffing reductions.

Under the current plan, the shipfitters, painters and outside machinists, who are members of the Metal Trades Council, will remain employed through Jan. 10.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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