Members of Coalton Village Council recently addressed the upcoming demolition of the former Coalton School gymnasium, the only portion of that facility left standing. This demolition project is part of the village’s $750,000 Neighborhood Revitalization Grant package.

Mayor Kim Milliken informed Council members during the Monday night, June 15 Council meeting that Harry Sutcliffe, the owner/operator of the Wellston-based H&S Contracting, had been awarded the bid for the demolition project. Sutcliffe submitted the lowest of 12 total bids for the project, which were opened during the May 19 meeting of the Jackson County Commissioners. Community Development Consultants of Ohio Senior Planner Whitaker Wright then reviewed all bids.

Jackson County Commissioner Paul Haller previously explained to The Telegram that H&S Contracting was chosen over the other bidders after submitting the low bid of $38,800, coupled with the business’s experience and professional references.

“He will work closely with Coalton Mayor Kim Milliken and Whitaker Wright of CDC of Ohio to complete the project,” Commissioner Haller said. “We look forward to the finished product later this fall.”

Mayor Milliken stated during the June 15 meeting that she had asked the commissioners to make her the project manager, a request she says was granted. She explained she had decided to put Village Supervisor Merle Morris in charge of overseeing the project.

“Every dump slip, I want it,” Mayor Milliken said. “Water needs to be on that building constantly as it’s coming down and I want to know that water ran the entire time. I want every permit in order.”

She went on to say she would not allow for bricks or other items from the building to be sold from the demolition site, though she said the gymnasium, at this point, is Sutcliffe’s property with the exception of the large cornerstone, which belongs to the village. Further, Councilman James Barnes pointed to the fact that individuals were already given the opportunity to stake a claim to items that remain in the gymnasium.

An exact start date was not given, though Mayor Milliken stated demolition would begin sometime after July 1. Both she and Village Administrator Scott Cheatham indicated they would like to have the project done as quickly as possible.