Costello Dismantling Co., Inc. was subcontracted by SKANSKA USA Building to perform several very intricate phases of demolition of buildings at Brookline High School, Brookline, MA that had reached the end of their useful life and would allow construction of the magnificent new school. The demolition was divided into 3 distinct phases that required us to work adjacent to transportation infrastructure, live utilities, an active school and ongoing construction by other subcontractors.
The first phase required removal of the Cypress Street Campus which abutted the active MBTA Green Line trolley tracks. Our work force was required to undergo specific Right-of-Way Railroad Training and follow detailed work plans before starting operations. The most critical portions of work were conducted during scheduled weekend closures of the Green Line trolley service. Costello completed all work successfully, and trains were back in service for the Monday morning rush hour.
The second phase of work required careful dismantlement of the STEM wing of the existing school. The three-story wing with a full basement was removed from two existing structures which remained, providing the footprint to allow the new school to be reconnected in its place.
The third phase of work was an extremely sensitive and sequenced final removal of a stub of the Robert’s Wing. Major arteries of MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) systems were housed in this area servicing the entire school campus. Relocation of utilities and weatherproofing were completed before we could make final separation. A carefully choreographed sequence of engineering and design of a shoring system to allow floor by floor removal from roof to basement was implemented. Costello used rubber tires, timber mats and steel plates to prevent damage to the new utilities. The work footprint for access to the structure to be dismantled was greatly restricted due to installation of the new utilities, the new foundations and building walls that were being installed for new construction. We utilized concrete cutting and manual separations to sequentially release wall and slab sections, all supported by shoring, in a “Top Down” floor by floor manner.
Dave Oliveira was our lead operator in the seat of an 88-foot 480E Volvo High Reach excavator equipped with a rotary Genesis 450 Demo-Pro shear/pulverizer. Dave carefully cut, crushed and cajoled each floor to the ground while maintaining the integrity of the remaining structures. Anthony Silva supported the operation on the ground in a Volvo 480E excavator to continually remove debris, load trucks and maintain a clean work site within the very limited space available for our access to the building. Ron Cunningham watchfully oversaw his crew of laborers consisting of Shawn Clouten, Juan Cuasatar and Juan Maza to make sure that all shoring, saw cutting and separations were executed flawlessly.
Paul Rowan, Mike Costello and Tom Berenz fretted over every detail of this final phase of work before, during and after the actual removal. As with any project, our in-house staff of John Hastings, Mary Ruggles, Sandi Cloutier and Jennifer Perry worked diligently behind the scenes. It took the full effort of the entire Costello team working together to make “surgery with a high reach excavator” look easy. Great job by all.
A special thanks and appreciation also goes out to the Skanska team for their coordination and support. We are looking forward to seeing the magnificent new Brookline High School.
Photo Credit: Paul Rowan