Two experienced, St. Louis-based firms, Ahrens Contracting, Inc.(for demolition) and Envirotech (for hazardous waste removal) have been chosen to remove hazardous materials and demolish buildings at the13.5-acre former Forest Park Hospital site the Saint Louis Zoo purchased to expand its land area, further enhancing the visitor experience and supporting wildlife conservation.

HBD Construction, Inc., is serving as the construction manager for the project, which will include the removal of such hazardous materials as asbestos and lead paint and demolition of the hospital, East Parking Garage, surrounding buildings on the site and one underground storage tank. One building on the site—the seven-story parking garage on Berthold Avenue—will not be part of this project; it will be renovated under a subsequent bidding process and contract.

Pledged to Remove Waste Sustainably, Keep Noise, Vibration, Dust Down

To uphold the Zoo’s commitment to environmental stewardship, non-hazardous building materials, such as steel reinforcement, concrete and brick, will be recycled or reused on site, whenever possible. Interior furnishings and finishes, like doors and office furniture, have been made available to local charitable organizations.

The Zoo and its contractors have also pledged that they will be sensitive about the times crews work in the area, the closing of any streets or pedestrian walkways and about excess noise and vibration. The demolition of buildings will be a gradual process that will not involve explosions or major disruption. The Zoo will also maintain security at the site.

To protect nearby residents and employees of contractors and the Saint Louis Zoo, all hazardous materials are being removed using the safest possible techniques--misters are being used for dust control. Noise at the site is that of typical machinery at work, and crews will not be working in the evenings or at night.

Site Improved, Security in Place

Since announcing the possible purchase of the hospital site in March 2012, the Zoo has worked to protect and improve the site. The Zoo’s horticultural and maintenance staffs have pruned existing vegetation, removed shrubs and mowed grass at the site. The Zoo has also installed 4,200-lineal-feet of fencing along the site perimeter.

Zoo security staff conducts routine, frequent patrols. During busy times at the Zoo, employees park at former hospital lots to free up more than 200 parking spaces in closer lots for Zoo visitors.