A mighty wind sent concrete dust across the Friendly City as Silverado Demolition foreman Dennis Hoehn chipped away at the last standing column of the Civic Centre with a backhoe on Tuesday afternoon.
And as the power of his jackhammer overwhelmed the last remaining portion of above-ground pillar at the Civic Centre site, the column of concrete and rebar came crashing onto the rubble below.
A few passing vehicles honked as Hoehn lowered the arm of his mighty machine. He got out and stood on the ground just west of the now-destroyed former home of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“It’s just another job,” he told the Times-Herald when asked what it felt like to bring down the last pillar of the 53-year-old former rink.
While it might appear to the average passerby that the building is now fully demolished, Hoehn said his crew’s work is far from over. There are lots of pillars still going into the basement of the arena.
“This is just the top part,” Hoehn said, adding while the top of the Civic Centre is down, demolition would continue for a while. The length of time it would take to totally demolish the structure, he said, is difficult to pinpoint.
“It’ll get down when it gets down.”
Demolition of the Civic Centre is necessary to make way for the Civic Centre Plaza project announced earlier this year, which aims to honour and, in some sense, mimic the former arena’s design with the major retail development project — incorporating the Civic Centre’s iconic shape.
In August, Colliers International vice-president Bill Babey, spokesman for the Civic Centre Plaza project, said developers hope to start construction on the replacement structures by as early as the end of 2012.
However, for the time being that iconic Civic Centre shape will be non-existent along Main Street North. From the passerby’s perspective, the ‘Crushed Can’ has finally been crushed.
Carter Haydu can be reached at 691-1265.