American Environmental, Inc, a company of Holyoke, has been put in charge of the demolition work for the MGM Springfield project, and this week began the demolition on Howard Street with the former YWCA building. The building was formerly home to Western Massachusetts Alcohol Treatment Center, a facility that has been moved to Holyoke pending a permanent move to a different location.

Terra-cotta features from the exterior of the YWCA building were moved before demolition began. This feature will be added to the new casino building based on an agreement with the historical commissions of the state as well as locally. The building of the YWCA was constructed in 1907.

An MGM Springfield spokeswoman, Alicia Malone, stated that it should take several weeks for American Environment to complete the demolition work. The demolition of the YWCA building comes just after the razing of the Springfield Rescue Mission and the Edisonia Theater block.

Bracing work is also taking place for the First Spiritualist Church to be relocated from the current location on Bliss Street, which is within the footprint of the casino. The church will be moved to face Union Street, which is within the grounds of the casino. The relocation should begin within the next few days, by mid-April.

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