The demolition of the abandoned Big Pine Care Center has started.

Since the center closed over eight years ago, plans to find a use for the facility had never panned out. Called an eyesore, by former Supervisor Jim Bilyeu, the care center posed liability concerns, vandalism, and hazards to firefighters – the reason to level the facility.

There had been concerns that asbestos removal would make the demolition too expensive, but when demolition estimates came in at a lower then expected $262,000, the Inyo Supervisors decided to move ahead.

Monday morning crews were at the site near the animal shelter, tearing asbestos siding off of the buildings by hand. The old administration building was already a pile of rubble by mid morning Monday, as crews running an excavator made short work of the job.

It could be late this week or early next week before the main building is demolished. Public Works staff reports that the demolition schedule depends on the asbestos removal. Once crews get the clearance needed, the other buildings will come down.