A contrasting area in Northville with beautiful hiking and biking trails. In Northville the residents and non-residents alike get to enjoy the great outdoors. It is a perfect place for people to hike and bike. Well, almost perfect. The property contains many old asbestos-contaminated buildings. The buildings were part of a former psychiatric hospital. Some were torn down but many still remain. The buildings are ugly as well as harmful. This area has a very contrasting landscape. From beautiful landscape to worn out old buildings.

One thing people are doing to make this place better is by offering more hiking trails to the public. The new trails are a real plus for people who enjoy hiking. The trails have received many positive reviews.

But along with the exciting and encouraging news of new and developed trails comes the downcast reminder of old asbestos containing buildings littering the area.

Many buildings across the United States contain asbestos. Especially old abandoned buildings. Asbestos is most dangerous when broken up because the particles go into the air and are so tiny that they can get trapped in people’s lungs and cause illnesses including many types of cancer and mesothelioma. The particles are so tiny that they can get trapped in people’s lungs. Asbestos wasn’t banned in the United States until the 70s so many buildings built before then contain asbestos particles. Many of the buildings that contain asbestos need to be demolished because they are old and useless. But because many contain asbestos, it makes the job of demolition harder and more expensive.

The buildings on the Northville property are fenced off so that people cannot access them.

The buildings need to be demolished quickly, but a timeline of when they will be demolished has not been put in place because of the lack of funding. The demolition will end up being pretty expensive.

Incoming supervisor Mark Abbo says that demolishing the buildings will be on his to do list once he officially gets into office.

 I am planning on conducting a thorough evaluation of the property and updating the master plan if necessary,” said Abbo. “I plan on engaging with the community to get their thoughts on taking care of the issues that site still has, including finding funding sources to clear the existing buildings.”

The Northville township was successfully able to demolish the main building of the former hospital without taxing the residents, because of a building they sold.  

Demolishing the building cost nine million dollars. The original price was 5.8 million dollars, but with the discovery of asbestos and the delicate demolition, the price turned out to be nine million dollars.

It is mandatory to demolish asbestos in the building before tearing the building down so that asbestos particles don’t end up in the air and hurt people. Unless in the case of an emergency demolition where the workers use a watery substance to reduce the amount of asbestos going into the air.

The new plan for the property could be as simple as a few hiking trails, or as complex as constructing environmental, educational and recreational facilities.

Approximately 3,000 people helped work on the master plan for the new property.