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Slow Tornado Recovery Continues In South End

Tornado buildings SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB)– Sunny days like the ones western Massachusetts enjoyed this week mean good building weather. There’s lots of it going on in Springfield’s tornado-ravaged South End. Friday the former Square One daycare building was torn down.  It’s another step in a slow road to recovery. It’s taken two years, but beam by beam the former facility was torn down.

“We’re looking at an eyesore right on Main Street. I have to look at a broken down building everyday,” David Glantz said.

Glantz owns Harry’s Smoke Shop. He grew concerned recently that the old Square One building was becoming a health hazard.

“I’m glad to see some progress anyway,” Glantz said.

Building by building up and down Main Street, crews are making way for rebuilding. The problem is the pace.

“I think it should go a little bit better,” Enrico Daniele of Mom and Rico’s said. “We gotta have less meetings today and bring more pointed shovels out to the meetings.”

Part of the delay surrounds MGM’S proposed $800 million south end casino.

“The people that were here are staying but you don’t see any new, you know, businesses coming into the area because it’s still up in the air on where the casino is going to go,” Glantz said.

Local business owners say whether a casino comes or not, these properties need to be developed for the betterment of the community.

Square One’s building will soon be just a memory. They have yet to decide what they will do with their vacant lot. Square One moved to Worthington Street after the 2011 tornado. That building was then destroyed in last November’s gas explosion. They plan to announce their third location in three years by mid-June.

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