Demolition of vacated Dayton Daily News building downtown could be this month

The explosive demolition of a portion of the vacated Dayton Daily News building and a building next door could come within weeks, city staffers said Monday.

A large student housing development will be built at the former Dayton Daily News site at Fourth and Ludlow streets in a $22 million project. But to make that happen, the modern portion of the newspaper building must be demolished as well as the Schwind building immediately to the north.

Contractor Steve Rauch Inc. plans to use Dykon Explosive Demolition of Tulsa, Okla., to take the buildings down, said Andrew Steele, a fire prevention specialist with the Dayton Fire Department. The department must approve a permit for the demolition, Steele said. The permit application is still being prepared, he said, but he expects to receive it within days. Steele said he’ll examine it to make certain it meets state requirements regarding the use of explosives in demolitions.

The last time explosives were used to demolish a downtown building was in 1999 when the Lazarus Building was taken down to make way for the Schuster Performing Arts Center.

The demolition is also now being coordinated with the Dayton Police Department and neighboring building owners, Steele said.

The city of Dayton has allocated $755,000 in city development funds to help offset developer Student Suites’ cost of asbestos removal and demolition of the Schwind Building. Also helping fund the new development is a $1 million pledge from Cox Media Group Ohio, owner of the Dayton Daily News.

As part of that agreement, Student Suites will preserve the small, historic bank-like Dayton Daily News structure, built in 1908 at the corner of Fourth and Ludlow. The “bank” building and a piece of the Fourth Street façade are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Student Suites officials have said they plan to have the housing complex open in August 2014 for the start of the next school year at Sinclair Community College.

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