Office of Public Affairs

Campus Construction Update (April 12, 2021)

For anyone quartered on USM’s Portland Campus who has longed for an unobstructed view of Durham Street, these must be happy days.

Since the last Campus Construction Update, 25 Bedford Street has gone the way of Woodbury Campus Center. And like the remains of Woodbury, the demolition debris from the takedown of the 8,500-square-foot former home for Facilities Management is bound for the same destinations for reuse, recycling, or landfill.

A photo of the foundation remains of Woodbury Campus Center

Some of Woodbury's slab, frost wall, and foundation that have yet to be busted up and hauled away. Unpainted concrete and masonry will be headed for recycling at the Shaw Brothers M Pit in Westbrook. The rest is headed for Waste Management’s receiving center in Norridgewock for reuse, recycling, or landfill.  

As webcams of the construction site can attest, all that remains of the two buildings are their concrete slabs and the footings beneath.

So, if you’re on or near the Portland Campus this week and you experience a slight tremblor, fear not. That’s probably just PBC Environmental’s 81-ton CAT 374 excavator (outfitted with a concrete pulverizer) busting up slabs, foundations, and footings.

A photo of a smaller backhoe picking cinderblocks for recycling at the construction site.

Lots and lots of cinder blocks being piled and readied for removal and recycling. 

John Souther, USM’s Executive Director of Facilities Management, says that pulling up the slabs will require crews from demolition contractor PBC Environmental LLC of Kittery to dig only 6 to 8 inches. Removing the foundation — comprising a 4-foot frost wall and the footers — will require excavation to a depth of about 5.5 feet. That work, likely to be finished on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, will contribute to the total 650 tons and 1,400 cubic yards of debris that continues to be hauled away.

A photo of a large excavator with demolition claw attachment gathering metal for recycling

An 81-ton CAT 374 excavator — the right tool for gathering up metal beams bound for recycling at Schnitzer Steel in Portland and Lewiston. 

A photo of the construction debris encroaching on Bedford Street.

A view of the frost wall and cinderblocks awaiting removal along Bedford Street. The berm of bark mulch just inside of the construction site fencing helps prevent runoff debris from reaching the road and storm drains. 

A photo of a window frame that remains intact despite the demolition effort.

Clearly built Husky tough, this wood-framed vent in the foundation of 25 Bedford Street somehow escaped the clutches of the excavator and remains intact amid a sea of debris. 

A photo of bucket loaders picking cinder blocks for recycling.

Momentarily working in tandem, these smaller excavators pick through the demolition debris for cinder blocks that can be recycled. 

A short staircase to 25 Bedford Street remains intact at the demolition site.

The next step in the demolition of Woodbury Campus Center and 25 Bedford Street will involve removing these steps. PBC Environmental’s CAT 374 excavator (outfitted with a concrete pulverizer) will make short work of it this week.

Until next time, you can learn more about USM's nearly $100 million Portland Campus Development Project online, including building renderings and a nifty fly-through video tour of the Career & Student Success Center.