Demolition begins on Carneal Auto building

By Caleb R. Johnson | Selma Times-Journal
Published April 15, 2009

The Carneal Auto building is a shadow of it’s former self and rightfully so. Better look fast if you want to see the old dilapidated version.

“Things will move very fast on the removal of fallen building [Wednesday] beside The ArtsRevive Carneal Building,” said Fran Pearce, a member of ArtsRevive.

A demolition crew from Cooper Brothers Construction Company began work on the Carneal Auto building around 7 a.m. Wednesday. The crew demolished and cleaned up a partially collapsed section on the south side of the building. Calvin Ross sat perched on a yellow excavator, scooping piles of scrap and cleaning off the remaining concrete slab. By mid-afternoon, about 10 or 12 truckloads of trash had been hauled away.

“We’ve been doing just clean up mostly,” Ross said. “Everything else here’s going to try and be saved.”

ArtsRevive purchased the building to operate an Art Center, where artists representing all disciplines will be able to attend and conduct workshops and seminars; where local artists can acquire permanent, affordable studios in which to work; where the public will have the opportunity to enhance their appreciation of art. As this happens, Selma will have a sustainable arts community and tourism will increase.

But first the work.

Two workers, Glen Johnson and Andrew Muse, sawed a large post to temporarily brace the roof on the west side of the concrete slab.

“They been working hard all day,” Ross said of the two men hunched over the beam.

The crew will return to the site Thursday and finish cleaning up by that afternoon, Ross said.