Clarion demolition: Hotel rubble getting reused

Not all the debris that encircles the former Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Columbus’ west side is going to a landfill.

Some of it piled behind and beside the structure will be repurposed to raise the lot level above the floodplain area behind the structure where the property approaches Interstate 65, said Kelsey DeClue, Columbus Regional Hospital spokesman.

Lawyer Excavation Crane & Transport of Seymour expects to have the nearly 21-acre site cleared by the end of March, DeClue said.

The entire Clarion building will probably be on the ground in the next two weeks, excavation company owner Glenn Lawyer said. Sorting of the material will continue as the lot is cleared.

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The company is working from the inside out, using the outer shell of the building to keep dust and dirt at a minimum, which is why the front façade of the building is still standing along the roadway, he said.

The Clarion was built in three sections: The original hotel, which was a Holiday Inn; an expansion area for the hotel; and a third area for the pool and surrounding area, Lawyer said.

“It’s coming down really good — really clean,” he said of the process.

The hospital purchased the hotel at 2480 W. Jonathon Moore Pike last year for $4.25 million. The property will eventually house medical services — probably multiple offerings — and will address the need for urgent and emergency care on the city’s west side, DeClue said in an earlier interview.

Demolition began late last year, starting with pre-demolition work of gutting bathrooms and removing copper wiring.

The corner of the property near the Speedway gas station is the highest part of the property, with the lot then sloping toward a swampy area toward the interstate, DeClue said.

Lawyer said about 15,000 tons of concrete and other materials will be put into a crusher and then repurposed to raise the lot level above the floodplain. The excavating company and the hospital are attempting to recycle as much as the material from the former hotel as possible in the demolition, he said.

Construction for a new medical facility on the site is not expected to start until well into this year, and it will probably be 2019 before medical services will be offered at the former hotel site, DeClue said.