The Mongoven Building in Chipley will likely be torn down soon.

A demolition of the vacant and dilapidated downtown building at the corner of 5th Street and South Railroad Avenue is on the horizon. The awarding of a demolition contract to Break-N-Ground, LLC is on the table.

The Chipley City Council is expected to vote on approving the contract during a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9. The coming teardown was discussed during a City Council workshop on Thursday, Jan. 4.

While the worst-case scenario for the demolition is for it to happen in July, the takedown could be quicker. The initiative is funded through Florida Commerce (FC), Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Home-Town Revitalization program, according to Melvin Engineering. 

The Mongoven Building in Downtown Chipley, which was built in 1905 and is now vacant and in disrepair, is expected to be demolished this year. [COLLIN BREAUX | Washington County News]

Break-N-Ground’s contract is for $273,500. They were the lowest bid out of four bids for the project.

Break-N-Ground has done demolitions in Lynn Haven. As part of the City of Chipley checking the company’s references, Lynn Haven City Manager Vickie Gainer was said to be happy with their work.

Members of the Chipley City Council suggested some bricks from the Mongoven Building could be kept after the demolition so residents could collect them as keepsakes. 

“I’ve had a couple of citizens ask would they be able to get any of the brick,” Councilmember Kevin Russell said. “I don’t know if they want all of it. Some people just want a souvenir brick from the building.”

Keeping the bricks at the Public Works Department and then announcing availability on Facebook was suggested.

Russell further said he expected some people would come out near the Mongoven Building to watch the demolition.

“I wouldn’t mind having video footage for history purposes,” Russell said. 

Built in 1905 as the First National Bank, the historic site has been used for other businesses and government offices to include a bakery and district school board office. A prior owner of the property, Kristy Aycock Speights, purchased the building at auction in 2019, for $1,000. 

Speights was unable to restore the building due to family medical issues allowing the city to repurchase the property. 

The site will be rehabilitated after the building demolition. 

“We’re excited,” Mayor Tracy Andrews said. “Long time coming.”

Washington County News Publisher Carol Kent contributed to this story.