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Tank brought in to demolish old buildings in Twin Lake

April 13, 2019
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A 30,000 pound Armorer Personel Carrier being driven by Tony Borglum, owner of Drive A Tank in Kasota, Min., smashes through the old shower building at Twin Lakes, Iowa Bible Camp Saturday, April 6, 2019. Two buildings were driven through and run over with the machine to make way for a new building. (Hans Madsen /The Messenger via AP)

TWIN LAKES, Iowa (AP) — There are plenty of conventional ways to demolish an old building.

Take it down board by board.

Knock it down with a bulldozer, or even let the local fire department burn it for practice.

None of those were going to do for Twin Lakes Bible Camp Executive Director Scott Larsen. He found another way while brainstorming with his friend, Colin Johnson.

“I know somebody that’s got a tank,” he said to The Messenger.

It was the perfect solution.

That guy with the tank, or rather a collection of tanks, is Tony Borglum, owner of Drive A Tank, in Kasota, Minnesota.

“It’s a FV432 armored personnel carrier,” Borglum said. “It’s British, it weighs about 30,000 pounds and it’s from the early 1960s.”

Borglum began collecting armored vehicles after he got a little bored with collecting cars.

“I was looking to buy an armored vehicle,” he said. “Cars look alike after awhile.”

He said U.S. tanks are scarce and expensive.

“It’s cheaper to buy in England and bring it here.”

Berglum took it slow and low while driving it through the camp’s buildings, but the APC can reach speeds of 30 mph, carry a crew of two and 10 soldiers. In battle-ready condition, it can operate in a both nuclear and biological warfare environments.

Therefore, a little building dust is nothing.

Berglum has a unique way of measuring the mileage, a way probably not on par with a Prius.

“I measure it in smiles per miles.”

Larsen said the first building to go, a wood structure, was the last building still standing of the original farm.

“It was originally a barn,” he said. “When they opened the camp, this became our chapel in 1956 and it was used for that for decades.”

When a new chapel was built, the structure was used for other things.

“Most recently, it was the camp store, kids playing area and storage,” Larsen said.

A new building is going to rise there. It will be a combination dining hall and main building. Fundraising efforts for the new building continue; $1 million is still needed of the estimated $2 million required.

“This is the site,” Larsen said, taking a last look. “They’ve served us well.”

Jon Back, Twin Lakes Bible Camp program director, spoke during a brief ceremony before the tank was fired up. He talked about the second structure to be demolished, a brick shower building nicknamed “Adam and Eve.” Apparently, it is not the place where everyone got their favorite camp memories.

“Not as many people like it,” he said. “But everybody uses it.”

A few visitors talked about their memories of the building.

“I became a Christian in that building,” one said.

“Thousands have come to Christ in this building,” another added.

After a prayer, everyone got out of the way, pulled out their cameras and phones, and let Borglum and his APC do their thing.

It was a not without a bit of humor, though.

He made his first pass of destruction as the strains of “Amazing Grace” played over the PA system.

A bagpipe version, of course.

___

Information from: The Messenger, http://www.messengernews.net