District leaders say the decision wasn't easy, but the cost of maintaining the Audubon School kept piling up.
"I think the board just kept the financial responsibility in mind and the fact that it's been three years the school has been sitting empty and the school board needed to move forward," says Holly Sparkman, R.I./Milan School District.
According to district leaders, it cost the school system $30,000/year just to maintain the building with utilities.
The district was trying to find a buyer for the building and earlier this summer, the district came close to a deal with Fareway for a grocery store, but those plans fell through.
"Finding a buyer became harder and harder," Sparkman adds.
With the unanimous vote, and a demolition permit with Valley Construction is now ready to go, the district has 90 days to complete demolition of the building.
After that, the land will be up for sale.
District leaders will talk with city officials over the coming weeks to finalize the start date for demolition of the school.
ORIGINAL STORY: After a long battle, Audubon School in Rock Island will be demolished. The Rock Island/Milan School Board voted unanimously on the decision Tuesday night.
There were three options on the table; turn off the gas and water to the building but maintain electrical to keep the fire and security alarms functioning, repair the boiler and maintain the heating system, demolish the building, or accept a purchase offer.
The old school has been vacant for 3 1/2 years. Earlier this summer, Fareway Stores decided to terminate an agreement to build a new grocery store on the lot.
City officials said no one stood up Tuesday night to buy the old building, so they had to make a decision. One that was met with opposition. Half a dozen residents stood up and talked in favor of keeping the building, while others thought it should be torn down.
The demolition will cost about a quarter of a Million dollars. There's no word yet on when demolition will start. The city said the land will be turned into a green space and hopefully sold and developed.
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