ARC’s crew of five technicians spent three weeks abating asbestos and demolishing select areas at the former St. James United Methodist Church in Waco, Texas. The church building was built in 1924, and earlier this year placed in the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition created somewhat of a challenge during the demo portion of the project.
Since the restrooms did not meet current code standards, we demolished them in preparation for new ones to be built. Also removed was an old elevator, preparing the space for the installation of a new, up-to-code lift. Being on the National Register, we had to save all the millwork, including doors, jambs trim, crown molding, and the metal tin ceiling. As to what and how to save items, we coordinated with the general contractor, Robison Construction, and the owner.
The building was built before asbestos was commonly used in construction materials. Therefore, the only asbestos found was in the flooring the church added later. Once we completed the abatement, the asbestos was containerized and disposed of in an EPA-Permitted Landfill. Fortunately, the nearby Lacy Lakeview Landfill is permitted.
ARC’s solid track record in historic preservation includes the Waco Hippodrome, Masonic Grand Lodge, Armstrong Browning Library on the campus of Baylor University, as well as many old courthouses across the state of Texas.
In 1986, the Texas Historical Commission declared St. James United Methodist Church a Texas Historic Landmark. And in 2017, the building was recognized for its historical significance by the Waco Historical Landmark Preservation Commission.
The renovation will result in a new event space as well as a basement restaurant.