Shuttered GM Lansing plants to be razed starting Monday

Friday, February 22, 2008

Shuttered GM Lansing plants to be razed starting Monday

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — General Motors Corp. on Monday will begin tearing down two plants it closed in 2006.

A GM spokeswoman says it will take about 20 months to demolish the Lansing Craft Centre and Lansing Metal Center, both located in Lansing Township near the capital city. Workers quit making the Chevrolet SSR sports truck at the Craft Centre in March 2006.

According to GM’s demolition plan, the outer walls of both factories will remain in place as long as possible to contain dust and noise.

The same technique was used when the adjoining Lansing Car Assembly plant closer to downtown Lansing was torn down last year, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Lansing Township officials are happy the demolition is moving forward, says Matt Brinkley, the township’s assistant planner.

The demolition permit was held up for several weeks last month as the township and automaker worked out an agreement about issues such as resodding the property after demolition is complete and fencing to circle the plants.

"We expect to have building inspectors on site almost daily" to observe safety and environmental conditions, Brinkley said.

GM already has demolished a number of other aging factories in the Lansing area, including the Lansing Car Assembly plant, which was known for turning out Oldsmobiles over the decades and last made the Pontiac Grand Am and Chevrolet Classic. Parts of that plant were a century old.

The automaker has replaced its aging plants with new ones using state-of-the-art technology. In 2001, it opened the Lansing Grand River plant near downtown, a gleaming white Cadillac factory.

And in 2006, GM opened a factory in Delta Township just west of Lansing that makes the popular GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave crossover vehicles.

The vehicle assembly plants were GM’s first to be built in the U.S. since Saturn began building cars in 1990 in Spring Hill, Tenn.

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