Greystone psychiatric hospital demolition first requires remediation efforts

The New Jersey DOT Division of Property Management and Construction is currently overseeing the remediation and demolition of the 675,000-square-foot Kirkbride Building. Once part of the former Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, the site's remediation process will include the removal of asbestos, lead paint, mold and other hazardous materials, according to the Daily Record.

The 165-acre property will be turned over to the county, although the project is currently estimated to last approximately two years. Morris County is planning to remove trees as part of the closing of two landfills on the site. The county purchased the land for $1, under the agreement that it conserve the land as open space.

According to the source, the DOT has submitted an application to the state Department of Environmental Protection's Parks and Forestry Division for permission to begin implementing its deforestation and reforestation plan.

There has been some pushback from local residents, who wished to preserve the historic building and its extensive grounds. However, Morris County Administrator John Bonanni told the Daily Record that county officials are in contact with the demolition contractors "to obtain some physical components of the original (Kirkbride building) to establish some form of acknowledgment (on the Greystone campus) of the magnitude of the structure that was once there."

Because of the significant scale of the project and the myriad concerns of residents, it is best practice to obtain the expertise of environmental consultants to ensure that the remediation effort is successful. As the land will be available for public use, and has been uninhabited and largely unobserved since 2008, these professionals can give residents peace of mind and confirm that the area is once again safe.