DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — For years, we’ve been telling you about one Vermilion County housing complex wanting to demolish some of its buildings. Monday they took the first steps to make that happen.
After evaluation and relocating 57 families, 6 building at Fair Oaks in Danville has been selected for demolition.
Monday morning they started tearing down the first one.
“This is a very long process. What do we need to improve and invest in and what is beyond repair,” Jaclyn Vinson says. “With that assessments came to the conclusion that these 6 buildings need to come down first. Before we start making other strategic investments in this property.”
As bricks fell they took pictures and video, proud of what they’ve done.
“It’s been a lot of work getting where we are today, just to see,” Vinson explains.
Officials say it’s over a decade in the making but in this day, they made excellent progress.
“I’m actually excited about it,” Sharain Dunn says.
It’s an improvement some who live there are pleased to see. Especially if this means less crime.
“When everything gets done, hopefully, it does eliminate some of the crimes. But like I said I’m not for seeing my brothers locked up. So if we can do something more positive to help them from out here from doing other stuff I’m all for it,” Dunn says.
Just this year, there has been a deadly shooting in the complex and multiple fights that have made their way around social media. But some who live here think the open space could help cut down on events like those. Something special will be going in its place.
“Green space. Park space. Open space. We might put a few pavilions up. Some grilling areas, picnic tables,” Vinson says. “Just allowing the population in the community to see that the concentration of poverty is what we’re trying to alleviate here.”
It’s the first step to making sure the people who live in fair oaks can feel safe and cared for. Each building is expected to take about a week for demolition. They hope to be complete with all the demo in six weeks.
Back in June the housing authority applied for an Emergency Safety and Security grant. They say they haven’t heard anything yet but should by the fall. Some of the money will be used to build a fence around the complex.