Florence advances plans for destruction of Trust Building

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Florence's first sky scraper is coming down, and city leaders say demolishing the building will not be an easy task.

Luke Wofford and his demolition company will start demolishing the Trust Building in about a month. Wofford Demolition is a Florence business and has been demolishing property for more than 30 years.

Even though a project the size of the Trust building isn't anything new to Wofford, he says bringing the building to the ground won't be easy.

"It's not a steel structure, it's a concrete structure and you really have to be careful with it," said Luke Wofford.

Since the Trust sits at one of the busiest intersections in Downtown Florence, keeping pedestrians and drivers safe will be a big concern for demolition crews. Also, because the building is so old, workers have to be careful to control the free fall of the bricks and mortar, while dismantling the building. With that said, come next month, you won't see a wrecking ball in downtown Florence.

Wofford says the plan is to "take the top down, and you just kind of go around the building and crush it and let it fall."

But before the Trust Building leaves Florence's Skyline, work has to be done inside of it.

The asbestos inside of the Trust Building will have to be removed before the building comes down. This is to make sure  the community is not exposed to any airborne contaminants during the demolition.

Right now, the city is working with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to get the necessary paperwork to close a lane or two on Irby Street while the demolition is happening.

City leaders say the building and the rubble left behind by its demolition should be cleared by June.

The city will spend $560,000 to bring the building down.

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