The Lido and Point Lookout Fire District has awarded a $98,000 contract to demolish Ye Olde Firehouse -- an effort opposed by many in the eastern communities on the Long Beach barrier island.
Fire district commissioners voted Friday to award the contract to Lindenhurst-based L & G Ruggiero Inc.
Ruggiero "has significant and extensive experience in municipal demolition, and was the lowest bidder for the project," commissioners said in a news release.
The white stucco firehouse building has been used over the years as a community center, a preschool and a social gathering place, but little of it is currently used by the district. The Point Lookout building was erected in 1934 as a community hall and later became part of the local fire department. The building closed in 2011 over concerns about its deterioration and was further damaged by superstorm Sandy.
Scaffolding went up around part of it earlier this year after concerns were raised about the safety of those walking by the facade that is crumbling in spots.
Some residents in Point Lookout and in Lido Beach have long wanted the building at 106 Lido Blvd. demolished, but others said it should be preserved as a historical site.
"As we start the process of demolishing Ye Olde Firehouse, we will continue to provide the community with regular updates," Commissioner Andrew Richter said. He added that the district is "preserving certain contents of the building for re-use," such as the war memorial and the 1939 World's Fair flagpole.
Richter said the demolition process still needs permit approval from the Town of Hempstead. But town spokesman Michael Deery said no permit will be given right away because local civic leader Donald Kelly is seeking historic landmark status for the building. The landmark commission has scheduled a hearing on the issue on June 23.
If the landmark commission fails to act, the building department can grant a permit for demolition 120 days after it learned of the landmark application, which Deery believes was May 7.