An historic part of central Florida’s past was demolished recently as specialists with NADC-members Central Environmental Services, Orlando, Florida, and Dykon Explosive Demolition, Tulsa, Oklahoma teamed up to raze the main grandstand at Seminole Greyhound Park.
Originally built in 1926 – long before its neighbor a few miles to the south, Disney World – the 400 foot-long, 85 foot-high grandstand was the centerpiece of a 156-acre facility that served as one of the region’s premier entertainment venues for several decades. However, the precipitous decline in the popularity of dog racing during the late 20th century combined with a steady increase in demand for Florida real estate to cause many dog tracks to shut down, and Seminole Park eventually fell victim to these same circumstances. According to industry websites, at the time of its demolition the park was one of only 15 greyhound tracks remaining in Florida.
The original grandstand structure had been modified many times over the years, which added a degree of complexity to the demolition effort. The most substantial modification occurred in the 1950s, when a two-story, 220 foot-long addition was attached to the north end of the original structure. The newer section, which possessed thicker steel columns set in their own unique pattern, required the development of an independent blast plan to be integrated into the entire complex’s larger plan in order to minimize ground vibration and ensure a smooth, progressive collapse.
Following meticulous site preparation performed by Central Environmental, Dykon President Jim Redyke and his team affixed 40 pounds of RDX linear shaped explosive charges to 46 ground level columns and canopy supports throughout the complex. The charges were then tied-in on a total of 13 delays using non-electric detonating cord.
The project occurred on time and as planned, with no complications.