Deconstruction project salvages bricks, wood

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE — Demolition usually leaves wreckage in its wake. But in the case of the old Tuscarora Mill just outside downtown China Grove, it’s the complete opposite.
In 2011, Tuscarora Yarns wanted to expand and moved from its operations on North Main Street to the former Hanesbrands building at 308 E. Thom St.
JW Demolition, a Charlotte company owned and operated by Tony Pizzo and business partner Will Dellinger, bought the property on Sept. 30.
Instead of just knocking the mill down, the company began deconstructing the building in order to salvage any metal, brick, wood and concrete that could be recycled.
“We try to recycle 90 to 95 percent of the materials,” Pizzo said.
Crews are 90 days into a roughly four-month project and to someone driving past, it may look as though the disassembling process is helter skelter, but there is a plan, Pizzo said.
The materials are cordoned off and stacked by the type of material, be it brick or wood.
Planks of wood can be sold and the smaller pieces of wood can be ground into mulch. The concrete can be ground into various sizes and in some cases used as base for road projects.
Crews began by determining if any of the materials in the mill were dangerous or hazardous.
The company then created a plan of removal, starting inside the mill and moving outward and to other structures on the 7-acre site.
As the buildings disappear, Town Manager Ken Deal noted the mill has been a fixture in the town.
“There’s probably not many people who lived here whose relatives weren’t associated with the mill,” he said.
The town will work with RowanWorks and the county tourism authority to aid whoever decides to purchase the property from JW Demolition once the materials are removed, Deal said.
He said the property is in an ideal location, along the main thoroughfare and not far from downtown.
Pizzo said once the site is cleared, it will be seeded so grass can grow. He said his company would love to sell the property to local business owners who may want to expand or relocate.
Some of the property has already been sold.
Goodman Farm Supply, located just down the street at 338 N. Main St., has purchased the warehouses.
Owner Alan Goodman said he hasn’t yet decided exactly what the business will do with all the extra space, but it provides a place to store more supplies.
“This will quadruple our storage space,” he said. In the future, there may be an opportunity to include an indoor archery facility or place to raise chickens and turkeys, he said.
“I’m overjoyed about the property and the possibilities,” Goodman said.
The old mill office was purchased by Jesse Link, who owns South End barber shop. Link plans to move his business there from its current location on South Main Street, where it’s been since 1948.
Link, who bought the barber shop in 2000, said the North Main site is the same size as his current shop, but it will provide customers easier access and more parking.
The new shop will also be closer to other businesses and exposed to more traffic.
He expects to be in the North Main Street location by January and said JW Demolition “helped me out a whole lot” to get there.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s a blessing,” Link said.
Business owners aren’t the only ones who’ll benefit from the mill demolition. Pizzo said details haven’t been finalized, but his company is saving some bricks it will give to residents for keepsakes.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.