Letter: Please avoid the demolition of monastery

Posted 5/18/22

To the editor:

Please vote NO at the next FTM on a resolution that would open the door to demolition of the monastery building on Watson Avenue. 

At last year's FTM, a resolution to …

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Letter: Please avoid the demolition of monastery

Posted

To the editor:

Please vote NO at the next FTM on a resolution that would open the door to demolition of the monastery building on Watson Avenue. 

At last year's FTM, a resolution to preserve the monastery was passed, and our local community believes that the voters' decision should be upheld.  We have made this very clear at numerous public meetings including the most recent meeting of the town council. Short of maintaining the undeveloped portion of the plot as open green space, which for many is the ideal repurposing, any redevelopment plans should be focused on making use of the existing structure. This is the most "green" option available to the town.

Among many solid and compelling reasons to preserve the monastery building is the fact that the structure is laden with concrete containing asbestos (e.g., all the concrete floors in the building). The EPA has determined that no level of exposure to asbestos is safe. It is further noteworthy that KN95/N95 face masks do not provide protection against airborne asbestos particulates. During demolition, even with the best abatement procedures, such particulates would inevitably be released as "dust" into the air, or as microscopic particulates into the water that would be used to keep the dust down during demolition. The preferred option is to avoid demolition; to leave the asbestos containing structures as they are and to seal all surfaces against possible exposure.

The local community has been very engaged in researching the ramifications of any demolition, including the immense financial cost associated with such a project. Please support us and join our community in voting NO on this resolution at the FTM on May 25 (Barrington Middle School).

Edward Hawrot

Barrington

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