Council panel backs funding to demolish Gaebler Childrens Center

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Posted: March 03, 2010 By: Jen Judson Source: Daily News Tribune
A City Council committee has endorsed spending $500,000 to demolish the former Gaebler Center.
A City Council committee has OK'd spending $543,875 to demolish the old Gaebler Children's Center, a building that city officials had wanted to reuse as a community center. "It disturbs me greatly," said Councilor Ed Tarallo, that the committee must take an action that was originally, "not going to happen." "It was not going to be torn down. We were going to reuse this building. We were going to use this for a community center or something else and here we are again talking about tearing down this building," said Tarallo. On Monday night, the council's Long Term Debt Committee agreed to the move. Built in 1952, the Gaebler Center, on the former Metropolitan State Hospital campus, had been considered for a new community center but the asbestos levels were found to be too high. "This is a limb that has now gone to gaseous gangrene and it needs to be settled," said Debt Committee chairman Thomas Curtin. "It's going to cost us more every day this goes by." The slowly decaying center became a prime target in 2008 for trespassing and vandalism. In September 2008, Councilor Robert Waddick tabled the request when Mayor Jeannette McCarthy first submitted it. Waddick said he wanted to see the demolition of the incinerator at the city yard on Lexington Street completed before considering the demolition of the Gaebler Center. "Despite the less than perfect circumstances that bring us to this vote, the building needs to come down," said Councilor Diane LeBlanc. The approval to demolish the center is pending a vote from the full City Council. Original Article