Destruction by the ton

Photos by Jason Hawk | Wellington Enterprise

Chipping away at the old girl a dozen or so cinder blocks at a time, Ozanne Construction workers dismantle the former McCormick Middle School from the southwestern corner. Here, a giant excavator clubs the facade with its bucket, scraping out portions of a stairwell and upper-story classrooms where a blackboard can still be seen mounted to an inside wall. The vehicle has been mounding rubble into a ramp, which is used to roll higher and higher and gain a better vantage from which to pull down the old school’s walls. Freezing water is pumped into the air around the machinery to keep down dust, while a second excavator lifts steel bars into the back of a giant truck to be hauled away. “The oldest part of the building will be done last — unless it falls down on its own,” said Kristopher Wertz, project manager.