Wichita State News
Photo: Wichita State University
The Fairmount Towers Complex, a residence hall at Wichita State University that is no longer occupied.

Environmental crew to safely remove asbestos before demolishing Fairmount Towers

Monday, May 14, 2018

  • In anticipation of the planned demolition of the former Fairmount Towers Complex at Wichita State University, certified environmental, health and safety firm iSi Environmental will soon start the process of removing asbestos from inside the structure.
  • The asbestos is not in a state that exposes anyone to risk. Because of that, the safety of those occupying and working in the complex when it was open was not compromised.
  • The removal will be performed to continue to ensure no one is in danger during the process.

As part of the planned demolition of the former Wichita State University Fairmount Towers Complex at the northwest corner of 21st and Hillside, crews will soon start the process of removing asbestos from inside the structures.

The removal will be performed to ensure no one is in danger during the process. This includes the children and staff at the nearby Child Development Center and residents living in the area.

Asbestos was used in almost every public and commercial building constructed before the 1980s in the United States. In the 50 years that Fairmount Towers was in operation, the asbestos was not in a state that exposed anyone living or working in the buildings to risk. 

When a building is scheduled for demolition, however, all of the asbestos in the building must be removed prior to maintain a safe environment. The removal of this asbestos must be done by companies certified by the state to remove asbestos. These workers receive special training and use equipment and personal protective equipment to prevent them and the public from breathing the asbestos dust. Building owners and those in charge of asbestos removal must notify the state, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and local agencies, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency office before beginning demolition or renovation activity.

All of these regulations are being strictly followed by Wichita State. iSi Environmental in Wichita is conducting the asbestos removal.

This project should begin in the next week, and demolition of the building should be complete by spring 2019. Plans call for the vacant space to initially be turned into campus parking.

Blake Hall, former home to KMUW 89.1, will also undergo demolition. The building on 17th Street has a small amount of asbestos that, because of the type and location of the asbestos, does not require special precautions. Once the building is demolished, the land will also be used for parking.

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Created on Monday, May 14, 2018; Last modified on Monday, May 14, 2018