The end is in sight for Gabe’s Tower.
The building will be demolished later this year over the course of a few months after the City of Owensboro accepted a bid for the project Monday.
Klenck Company of Evansville was awarded the demolition project after submitting a low bid of $408,875, which is well under the $600,000 the City set aside when they began accepting proposals.
Assistant City Manager Lelan Hancock said they are pleased with the price and the company they’ve chosen.
Some preliminary work and an environmental study of surrounding neighborhoods will begin in three to four weeks. Demolition will begin six weeks after that, and wrecking ball and high-reach excavation will be used to bring the tower down.
Hancock said the environmental study will include removing asbestos in the paneling and checking the conditions of the surrounding neighborhoods. A vibration monitoring service will be implemented through a third party, where a mulch-like substance will be spread around the vicinity of Gabe’s Tower to absorb the impact of any small chunks and pieces of the tower that hit the ground during the demolition process.
The entire demolition process will be a safe one, Hancock added, as a large area will be protected by fencing. Shipping containers will be set around the tower to catch pieces that crumble and fall.
While a wrecking ball will be used during the first part of the demolition, it won’t smash into the side of the tower — it will be dropped on top of it to bring the building down to the ninth floor. After that, a long-reaching excavator will break down the rest of the 13-story tower one floor at a time.
“[Klenck Company] tore down the Armory in Owensboro, so they’ve got experience with demolition,” Hancock said. “They will work to keep the noise down and the debris [in check]. They’re a great company that’s female-owned. We were quite pleased to have someone as close as Evansville come in and do this.”
Klenck estimated the entire demolition process would take about three and a half months after the initial six-week environmental phase. Hancock believes the tower could come down by late June, if all goes according to plan.
“We’re ready to get started,” he said. “It’s been a long process at times, but you just keep moving toward what you’re trying to do. We’re happy to be be in the position we’re in.”