Julie French

Adroit Construction Company's excavator took a bite out of Bellview Elementary this morning.

Demolition began on the north end of the building just before 9 a.m., marking the beginning of a two-week process, according to Pat Staed, the project superintendent with Adroit.

Trucks will arrive Monday to start hauling away the debris. The concrete will be crushed at Kogap Enterprises for road material, the wood converted into electricity at Biomass One in White City, and the metals sent to Schnitzer Steel, also in White City, Staed said.

The remaining debris will be sent to a landfill.

Milo Shields, 6, who attended kindergarten at Bellview this year, came to watch the destruction with his mother, Annabel Allen.

"I'm happy, I'm sad and I'm scared," he said. His first reaction, however, was simply to scream.

His classroom was the first to go, and he and his mother watched as the walls he and his classmates had painted disappeared, the sink lifted out and the clock dangled from the ceiling momentarily before being dropped into the rubble.

Shields will move to Rivergate Church with the kindergarten and first-grade students next year, and the rest of the school will be housed in Ashland Middle School. The rebuilt Bellview Elementary is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.

Staff writer Julie French can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or .