By Kyle Stucker
Hampton Union, April 18, 2014
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Hampton demolished the old Church Street pump station on Tuesday. [Kyle Stucker photo]
HAMPTON — Standing in the shadow of its modern and more efficient counterpart, one of Hampton Beach's most outdated structures breathed its last gasps Tuesday morning as demolition crews sent its walls crashing to the ground.
The old Church Street pump station, which since 1935 has been responsible for pumping all of Hampton Beach's sewage to the wastewater treatment plant, was quickly toppled by heavy machinery as if the building's walls were made of paper.
Mike Dube, a Hampton Public Works Department employee and the operations manager at the wastewater treatment plant, said Tuesday's demolition was a cathartic farewell that finally allows his department to "move on" from a building that has "needed to be replaced for so long."
"I've had a lot of sleepless nights when it was in service because it was so old," said Dube. "I thought (the demolition itself) would take awhile. It just goes to show how much it needed to be replaced. It's just falling apart due to age."
Work to replace the station began in 2011, when public works officials and employees began indicating to selectmen that the building had significant deterioration and wear due to the salt air and the age of the structure. The facility also had a variety of mechanical and electrical component issues and a compromised foundation, roof and wet well.
Dubbed the "most critical component" of the wastewater system by DPW Director Keith Noyes, officials feared a pump failure would cause sewage from the heart of the beach to overflow directly into surrounding the marshes.
The $3.5 million project was approved by voters at the 2012 town meeting. Construction began on the new facility, which increases the total flow capacity and is located just east of the old station, in March 2013.
Not all of the old station was demolished Tuesday, as the town may be able to "possibly reutilize" the transformer by installing it at the wastewater treatment plant, according to Dube.
Dube said additional exterior painting and site work is still needed before the new station is complete. He estimated that work, along with the work to complete the public parking lot on the site, would be finished "in a couple of weeks."