Monday Jan 30, 2023

Exterior demolition begins at Fleming Administration Building | The University Record – The University Record


An excavator’s claw began tearing into the Fleming Administration Building Aug. 11, sending bricks and pieces of metal tumbling to the ground as passersby stopped to snap photos.

Exterior demolition of the 54-year-old Central Campus landmark, once home to the offices of U-M presidents and the site of raucous student protests, is expected to take about a month. Afterward, the ground will be filled in and landscaped as open space while university officials consider future uses for the site.

The project includes a strong focus on reusing or recycling materials in line with U-M’s sustainability goals. Office equipment, furniture and custodial supplies from Fleming were sold through Property Disposition or redistributed to other buildings, said Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations. E-waste was recycled whenever possible.

As the demolition progresses, workers will sort materials on-site for either recycling or proper disposal, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, concrete, brick and block, and construction and demolition debris such as wood, drywall, carpeting and roofing materials.

Demolition equipment stands at the ready as morning dawns Aug. 11, the Fleming Building’s last day. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

The excavator’s hydraulic claw takes its first swipe into the building’s eastern side. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

The demolition work begins in earnest as workers from the Adamo Group use a demolition claw to work their way up the Fleming Building. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

An onlooker stops to watch the start of the Fleming Building’s demolition. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

The powerful hydraulic claw of the Adamo Group’s demolition tool repeatedly attacked the building’s concrete structure, tearing it apart and knocking it to the ground. (Photo by Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography)

Hoses and misters, which sprayed water to reduce dust, created a rainbow at the demolition site. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

Rubble from the floors above was piled at the building’s base, waiting to be sorted and hauled away. (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

By afternoon, the machinery had reached Fleming’s upper floors. (Photo by Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography)

Throughout the day, pasersby would stop to watch the project and take photos. (Photo by Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography)

This photo gallery captures the first day of Fleming exterior demolition. Click each image to open a larger version in your browser.

Fleming needed major repairs and was considered functionally obsolete before it closed in early 2022. The people who worked there were relocated across campus to the newly renovated Alexander G. Ruthven Building.

The Board of Regents approved the Ruthven renovations — with the understanding that Fleming would eventually be demolished — in 2016. The $3.4 million demolition project was approved in February.

Crews have spent the past few months abating hazardous materials, removing windows and disconnecting utilities.

At about 9:30 a.m. Aug. 11, an excavator pierced the second story of Fleming’s brown-brick façade. By lunchtime, the entire side of the building that faces Regents’ Plaza and The Cube had been stripped away, leaving a jumble of rebar, ductwork and bits of insulation visible between the exposed concrete floors.

“I’m excited to see what they do with that space,” said Adan Hussain, one of several people who stopped to watch the demolition from a sidewalk across the street. “It would be really nice to see a park there, or student art …….


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