Resources for Patients and their Families

Great Barrington’s firehouse up for sale and in serious need of asbestos removal

Posted by Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance editorial staff

January 14, 2011

Great Barrington, Massachusetts - The Town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts has begun accepting bids for the sale and reuse of the old fire station at 20 Castle St. No sale price has been specified, but that’s likely due to the fact that the 1899 building is going to require a lot of work and upkeep. The proposal deadline is February 9th at 2PM.

The 15,146-square foot, three-story wood and brick structure is desperately in need of renovation. Clark Engineering & Surveying PC and Mitchell Ross Associates Architects PC have outlined the buildings problems, which include breaking bricks that are falling off the tower, a deteriorating asphalt roof and improper ventilation. Additionally, as is to be expected from a turn of the century building, there is the presence of asbestos-containing materials.

Asbestos is a toxic mineral known to cause such fatal diseases as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the protective lining of the lungs, heart, chest and abdomen. This carcinogen is a silent killer, as people have no way of knowing that they’ve been exposed until they show signs of asbestos cancer, which can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to develop. Even doctors have a hard time diagnosing mesothelioma, as it is generally asymptomatic until it reaches stage three or four.

Asbestos was first detected in the firehouse in a 1998 pre-renovation asbestos survey conducted by Eco-Genesis. The mineral was discovered in the structures insulation, cement, floor tiles, flashing and window glazing.

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