All that was Club Med Bermuda will soon go up in a puff of smoke - and local residents are being given tips on how to stay safe on the day of the big bang.

In a bid to keep residents away from the site on the day of the implosion, there will be a safe point established at the St. George's Golf Clubhouse where breakfast and lunch will be served and there will be a strict security cordon around the implosion zone.

Expert advice

Representatives from the Ministry of Works and Engineering and D.H. Griffin's demolition experts have met with most of the individuals who live near the hotel site to inform them of plans to protect both their water and property. Plans involve the blocking of roof drains, covering air conditioning units and any additional openings at each house.

All houses in the area will be surveyed before the implosion and Bermuda Water Consultants will monitor air and water quality before and after the implosion. 

Minister of Works and Engineering Derrick Burgess announced the demolition of the building is scheduled to take place by implosion on August 25.

The St. George's site will then make way for the new five-star Park Hyatt St. George's Resort.

Minister Burgess explained how the demolition process would work.

"An implosion is a form of demolition that causes the inward collapse of a building in a controlled method by weakening structural columns with the use of explosives," he said. "The typical demolition of buildings in Bermuda is by heavy construction equipment which generally takes longer to complete.

"The columns will then be wrapped in chainlink and geotextile fabric to control debris. The lower floors will also have geotextile placed around the perimeter to control debris and dust."

Concerns of asbestos particles being ejected into the air were also put to rest as Minister Burgess assured the public all traces of the harmful substance would be removed before the explosives are set off, and that the majority of it was contained in the basement as fire proofing for the hotel's boiler room and laundry.

The Department of Health has also been monitoring the asbestos removal and will give the final certification that the building has been cleared of all asbestos.

Safety zone

Although all Bermuda residents must be at least 1,000 feet from the hotel's boundary, Minister Burgess doesn't doubt that many residents may want to watch the explosion from their boats or from other vantage points in the St. George's area.

An open house public information session will be held on Wednesday, June 25, 2008, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the East End Primary School.

The Department of Health is currently undertaking an assessment of prevailing weather patterns on the week of the implosion and will advise the public if adjustments to the current plan need to be made.

Minister Burgess estimates it will take 48 days to clear the debris after the implosion.