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SARAA Building Demolition 1

SARAA Buildings 26 & 96 Demolition
Design/Bid & Environmental Services

Urban performed Environmental Site Assessments for the demolition of two dilapidated former military buildings at the Middletown airfield.

Services Provided
Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority
Project Contact
Jennifer Waters, PE, LEED AP
Vice President, Philadelphia Regional Manager

The Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) located at Middletown airfield is a historic former military facility that was decommissioned in 1966. The first airplanes landed at HIA in 1918, at which time the airport was called Olmstead Air Force Base. The previous military operations at the site later resulted in contamination of soil, surface water, and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The site went through Superfund program clean up phased over 20 years. While it is no longer on the National Priorities List, cleanup and environmental monitoring were necessary during the HIA’s redevelopment of Building 26 and 96.


The airport has extensive utilities. A geophysical survey and soft dig equipment allowed Urban’s team to avoid impacting underground utilities when collecting soil samples and installing groundwater wells. Staff received special training and guidance to enable the building investigations because building 26 was in such poor condition, and safety was a concern.


For both former military buildings 26 and 96, Urban performed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), a Phase II ESA, and a hazardous building material survey. For the Phase I ESAs, Urban’s environmental team assessed historic uses of the site, previous environmental investigations, and visual observations in order to recommend further action at the site. Based on the investigations and historic uses of the buildings and surrounding Department of Defense properties, a Phase II ESA was recommended at both buildings.


SARAA Building Demolition 2

SARAA Building Demolition 3

The Phase II ESA at building 96 consisted of soil and groundwater sampling and analysis, which included a geophysical survey, groundwater well installation, and Geoprobe® soil sampling. The Phase II ESA at building 26 was limited to soil sampling and analysis, which included a geophysical survey and Geoprobe® soil sampling. The Phase II ESA report for each site characterized the soil and/or groundwater. The team performed a statistical analysis of the sample results and prepared remediation guidance to handle the soil in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations. A vapor intrusion assessment was also prepared using the soil and groundwater data.


A building material investigation was performed by Urban’s certified personnel at both buildings to detect and quantify potential asbestos containing materials, lead-based paint, universal waste, hazardous materials and other waste that requires special handling and disposal. Urban prepared an Environmental Inventory Report that tabulated the materials located within each building and provided recommendations for handling and disposal prior to demolition. Urban also prepared contractor bid specifications related to soil and material handling and disposal.



  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
  • Phase II Environmental Site Assessment
  • Vapor Intrusion Assessment
  • Asbestos Investigation
  • Lead-Based Paint Investigation
  • Hazardous Building Material Survey
  • Remediation Guidance
  • Soil and Material Handling Specifications
  • PADEP Management of Fill
  • Groundwater Well InstallationGeoprobe®
  • Geophysical Survey
  • Soft Dig