ST. LOUIS • The St. Louis Zoo picked two local companies to remove hazardous waste and demolish the 13.5-acre Forest Park Hospital site.
Zoo commissioners unanimously voted late Friday afternoon in favor of a joint-bid from Ahrens Contracting and Envirotech over 11 other bidders.
Ahrens and Envirotech submitted the second-lowest bid, at $3.9 million— about $200,000 above low bidder Jackson Demolition Services of Schenectady, N.Y. — but with a timeline projected to be 60 days quicker, according to a Zoo release.
The Zoo purchased the site last year for $6 million. It is still developing plans for the space, directly across Highway 40 from the Zoo’s Forest Park campus.
Zoo officials said contracts are expected to be signed in coming weeks. The demolition, according to the release, will include the removal of asbestos and lead paint and the demolition of the East parking garage, surrounding buildings and one underground storage tank.
One building on the site — the six-story parking garage on Berthold Avenue — will be renovated later.
David McGuire, the Zoo’s vice president of planning, said the Zoo will be "sensitive” about work hours, closing streets, noise and vibration. “This will be a gradual process that will not involve explosions or major disruption,” McGuire said in a statement.
The Zoo’s release said the commission selected the Ahrens/Envirotech bid because they are locally licensed, use union labor, and have long worked together, including on projects for the St. Louis Art Museum and Busch Stadium.