Demolition Plans Underway for Ruined Grindavík Buildings Skip to content

Demolition Plans Underway for Ruined Grindavík Buildings

By Ragnar Tómas

Grindavik
Photo: Grindavík. Photo by Art Bicnick..

Following months of seismic and geological unrest, many buildings in Grindavík are unusable and slated for demolition, including the Hópið sports hall. Preparations for demolition have begun, with work expected to start this summer.

At least 64 total losses

As a result of the geological unrest near Sundhnúkagígar that began in November of last year, numerous buildings in Grindavík are completely unusable. At least 64 total losses have been reported to the Natural Catastrophe Insurance of Iceland (Náttúruhamfaratrygging Íslands).

Most of the ruined buildings will need to be demolished, including the Víðihlíð retirement and nursing home; potentially the recent extension to Hópskóli, which houses grades 1 to 4; and the Hópið sports hall, which was among the buildings most severely affected by seismic activity last November; on February 6, a massive crack was discovered beneath the artificial turf of the sports hall, when it had been evident for some time that the building was extensively damaged.

Hópið likely first to go

In an interview with RÚV yesterday, Atli Geir Júlíusson, head of the planning and environment division of Grindavík, stated that preparations for demolishing the sports hall have started.

“This is perhaps the first project of this nature that we are undertaking, but more are expected,” Atli observed. “Additionally, there are buildings owned both by companies and individuals that are total losses. Þórkatla [a public property company created to carry out the purchase, administration, and disposal of residential housing within the urban area in Grindavík] may take over and purchase these buildings to handle the demolition. There are various aspects to this, and it is just the beginning.”

Atli is hopeful that demolition can begin as soon as possible this summer. “For buildings like Hópið, which are badly damaged and whose cladding may come off in bad weather this fall and winter, we aim to have them removed by autumn,” Atli stated.

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