The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to hire D&H Construction & Cabinetry, Inc. of Meridian to remove asbestos from the old Village Fair Mall.
The mall, located on the site of the future county courthouse complex off 22nd Avenue, is expected to be demolished before the end of 2020, according to District 1 Supervisor Jonathan Wells.
Rush Mayatt, the county road manager, said asbestos removal will cost $953,500 and has an estimated timeline of 180 days.
County crews will handle the demolition, saving taxpayers an estimated $1.3 million, Mayatt said.
Demolition will take approximately 200 days and will be funded from the road department's budget, he said.
A team of at least 10 employees devoted to special projects will work on the demolition.
“That way we’re not pulled from your day to day activities that will continue to go on throughout,” Mayatt said.
Mayatt said scrap metal recovered from the old building could bring in an estimated $151,000.
Crews may be able to begin some of the demolition while asbestos removal is ongoing, according to county leaders.
“We think that going this route…is the best savings for our taxpayers,” Wells said.
The board also voted to put out a request for quotes for a company to handle air quality monitoring during asbestos removal.
The mall shut down in 1997 and the county purchased the approximately 39-acre property for $1.25 million earlier this year.
Wells has given a rough cost estimate of $35 million for the courthouse complex project.