By Debra Ferrell
Work is progressing well in the long demolition process of the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in the Schoolfield neighborhood of Danville which is being cleaned up and demolished for the Ceasars Virginia casino project.
Danville City Council has received an update on the project pending tendering for a general contractor.
The tenders were sent out in early December and are expected in early January, says Robert Livingston, senior vice president of Ceasars Entertainment.
Representatives from national and regional construction companies recently traveled to Danville to meet with the Caesars design and construction team and to tour the site.
“We’re very excited to be at this point in the game,” said Livingston. “We expect new construction to start with the hotel tower. It is on the most solid ground. There is not a lot of work to be done there.
A first shovelful of earth is planned, but the date depends on the mobilization of the general contractor and the weather.
The team is working hard to dismantle what remains of the infrastructure for the general contractor. Locals want to know when the finishing plant will be dismantled.
“Our team is still evaluating the safest and most economical method to remove this structure,” he said. “Whichever route we take, we expect the process to start sometime in March / April. It will be a long process. Once the building collapses, it will take time to clean up or reuse this debris. As a result, the process is expected to extend into the summer. “
Mark Schlang, Senior Director of Design and Construction at Ceasars Entertainment, explains, “Full demolition will take seven to nine months depending on knowledge of current conditions. “
Livingston adds, “We have made important commitments to the community. We intend to keep these commitments. We ask each general contractor bidding for this work to explain to us their history of working with minority contractors.
In addition, the general contractor must organize awareness and information sessions with interested suppliers and contractors.
He shares that the goal is to use as many local contractors and suppliers as possible, although they will have to move out of Danville for some materials not available locally.
DH Griffin Companies in Greensboro, NC, performs demolition and hazardous material reduction and removal.
“Danville’s construction market is just not big enough to cover everything that is needed for this project,” he said. “We are delighted to put as many local people to work on this project as humanly possible and for many years to come.”
In September, Caesars Entertainment shared official renderings of Caesars Virginia, its $ 500 million resort, which is slated to open in 2023 and will include 500 hotel rooms, a state-of-the-art casino, Caesars Sportsbook, World Series of Poker Room, new dining and entertainment offerings, and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space with an entertainment venue for up to 2,500 people.
The Schoolfield site footprint is 85 acres with the Dan River Inc. property containing approximately 700,000 square feet of structure, including the old 617,000 square foot finishing plant that can be seen from West Main Street. .
The three chimneys of the site known as the Three Sisters will remain standing and will be part of the casino project.