SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- Cleanup started Wednesday at the site of a former dress factory in Shamokin. Crews have been tearing down the blighted building for the last six weeks.
It's a new year and a new view for Deborah Beck of Shamokin. The former Shroyer's dress factory was recently torn down and now Beck has a clear view of the city.
"We were always afraid something would come down and injure a person or hit a car. It's a little bit bittersweet, but we're glad to see the progress move on," Beck said.
The former Shroyer's dress factory has been in Shamokin for more than 70 years, but it's been vacant since 1984.
Eleanor Olcese used to work there.
"Me and my two sisters, the three of us made our living over there," Olcese said.
In recent years, the building became a threat to public safety.
"Those big long fluorescent lights flying back and forth and, oh, you wonder when one is going to come flying this way," said Olcese.
"We made dinner on charcoal grills and whatever we could," Don Tinley recalled.
It took about six weeks to tear down the building. Now cleanup starts, which city officials estimate will take about two weeks. City officials say once this is all cleaned up, they would like to build housing for veterans in this spot.
"I thought it was ideal, just such a great thing to do for the veterans, so deserving," said Beck.
The demolition was paid for with $600,000 of state grant money.