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The Daily Tar Heel

Reconstruction Program Earns State Honors

The deconstruction program, which was initiated by the Orange County Public Works Department, detailed the deconstruction -- rather than destruction -- of the old Orange County High School building that was damaged during Hurricane Floyd. Specialists followed the plan in order to save money and materials and to decrease the amount of waste sent to local landfills.

By dismantling the building, the county saved more than $12,000, spending $37,929. Demolishing the building would have cost an estimated $50,000.

It was one of 14 programs statewide to receive an Outstanding County Program Award, which recognized superior innovation and collaborative efforts.

Todd McGee, director of publications for the association, described the significance of the award.

"The intent is to recognize and share information with other counties about programs that involve a uniquely innovative process, solution or idea to address a county or multi-jurisdictional issue and/or to prevent a future problem from developing," he said.

McGee said other counties will see what Orange County accomplished and will look to the area as an example of using resources efficiently.

Wilbert McAdoo, public works director for Orange County, commended his staff and the commissioners for their help during the deconstruction process.

"This award is dedicated to them for accomplishing such a noteworthy task," he said.

McAdoo also commended deconstruction specialists Robin and Pete Hendricks for their expertise and guidance in making the project a reality.

Pete Hendricks said making others aware of the possibilities available in recycling buildings is among his main priorities.

"It's always nice to know that the word's getting out," he said.

Hendricks also said he hopes the private sector will take notice of government efforts to recycle buildings.

"This is what leadership's all about," he said. "The private sector's got to get on the bandwagon."

Materials salvaged during the project will be used in future county endeavors. The bricks from this project will be used in building a new retaining wall at the Whitted Building in downtown Hillsborough.

For reusing the materials, the county will receive a certificate from the association at today's commissioners' meeting.

"The county will get the recognition of being a good steward of the environment," McAdoo said.

McAdoo said the Public Works Department is in preliminary planning stages of future deconstruction programs.

Hendricks said the county has purchased several farm houses in and around Chapel Hill that will be deconstructed in the future.

McAdoo said the Public Works Department is also planning to release an educational video detailing the deconstruction process, but no date has been set for the release yet.

"We hope to be able to provide guidance to other people."

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