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Deconstruction already showing (dollar) signs of savings

By HILARY LANE

Officials from the cities of Utica and Rome, along with other area organizations met Wednesday to discuss the formation of a "Regional Deconstruction Program."

Instead of demolishing a building and sending all of the materials and items inside to the landfill, deconstructing a building means re-using or re-selling the items inside for cash.

The Genesis Group has hired a consultant who has deconstructed hundreds of buildings across the country and is now looking into the potential in this area. The consultant walked around a few different dilapidated buildings and properties in Utica and Rome on Tuesday and within five hours, was able to identify $1 million worth of valuable materials.

"The old doors, hardwood flooring, slate chalkboards, and the brick, just a lot of old light fixtures, these are all things in all buildings that all seemed destined for the landfill," said David Bennink of Re-use Consulting.

The deconstruction process also has the potential to create hundreds of jobs in the area.

"The people that are doing this can also be people that are harder to employ and have language barriers.," said Gene Allen of Urban Renewal. "People who have had a criminal background and can't get a job now. You are also learning a skill because the skills that go into deconstruction readily go into construction. "

Both of the mayors in Utica and Rome are on board, but the deconstruction plans are in its very early phases.

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