Grayson Co. set to demolish old college buildings filled with asbestos

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- What is now Grayson College property, nestled next to the North Texas Regional Airport, used to be the Perrin Air Force Base from 1941 to 1971.

"I came here when I was still active Air Force in 1961," James Farris said.

James Farris is a WWII veteran who's seen the evolution of the land and the re-purposing of facilities.

"After the base closed, at one time, the college used them as dormitories," Farris said.

Now, James is about to witness another change in the area. Yesterday, Grayson County commissioners agreed to demolish six buildings on the college's property.

Those buildings were built by and used to belong to the Air Force base.

"We stopped using them because they were way out of date and then deteriorated quickly after that," Shelle Cassell with Grayson College said.

It's a good thing they haven't been using them; the buildings are full of asbestos.

"Asbestos was a very common material so it's in almost every building that they built," Cassell said.

Those buildings used to be married student housing, a piano tuning facility, a hospital, commissary, cafeteria and auto shop.

One of the buildings will not be completely decked -- Cassell says it'll become the new county barn for Precinct 4.

In exchange for the barn, the county will pay $200,000 dollars and demolish those six buildings.

"We have a building out there that really will serve them well for that," Cassell said.

James says that while he likes to reminisce about the old air force base, he enjoys seeing the area moving forward.

"Its day, in that aspect, is gone and we might as well forget it because it's not coming back," Farris said.

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