Anchored by retail stores JCPenny and McRaes, the Village Fair Mall of Meridian MS was built in 1970 and offered over 50 retail suites in an enclosed, single-story mall that was typical of the era. In the mid-nineties, an additional mall was developed in Meridian, resulting in the Village Fair Mall being shuttered.
The property sat vacant from 1997 to 2019 when safety concerns about the large deteriorating structure were discussed within the local community. In 2019, Lauderdale County purchased the property with plans to build a courthouse complex and revitalize the area with new development opportunities. The project required the abatement and demo of the nearly 400,000 sq ft abandoned mall before new construction could begin. Snyder Environmental was awarded as the abatement contractor to properly perform the staggering amount of hazardous material abatement that was required before demolition of the building could begin.
Snyder self-performed the abatement of 230,000 sq ft of spray-applied fireproofing material, 94,000 sq ft of floor tile and mastic as well as 10,250 sq ft of spray-on fireproofing from ceiling elevations that ranged from 14ft to 40ft.
In addition to abatement services, Snyder maintained perimeter security of the mall, making sure workers and equipment in the 1,243,929 sq ft of property were safely secured. This large-scale abatement project was performed in phases, which required multiple negative air containments which averaged 30,000 sq ft each.
Significant interior demolition was performed in planned phases ahead of the ACM abatement schedule. Water intrusion challenged the project, as holes in the mall’s roof allowed for substantial flooding in the interior spaces. Snyder assisted in coordinating trucking routes that mitigated the damage of heavy loads on local roads and utilized a local trucking company as on-site fleet support, to assist in supporting the local economy.
The Village Fair Mall abatement and demo project was performed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic swept across the region, Snyder went beyond the required mandates and took additional measures to protect our workers and their families by providing additional PPE and disinfection products for all staff. As restaurants closed, Snyder made sure the Meridian team had amenities and resources for food and water. Bottled water became a commodity at local stores so palletized bottled water was distributed by our own fleet from our Central Arkansas warehouse.
Despite all challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Snyder successfully completed the project for Lauderdale County on time and budget.