Progress made to demolish old Gibson Co. school building - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Progress made to demolish old Gibson Co. school building

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GIBSON CO., IN (WFIE) -

What should officials do with a long vacant schoolhouse in Gibson County?  

Well, there appears to be progress in efforts to finally have the building torn down.

North Gibson School Corporation Superintendent Mike Harmon says the building isn't a hazard yet, but residents say they're happy that something is finally being done with the building and the valuable land it sits on. 

The old Baldwin Heights Elementary School has been sitting empty in Bonnie Richardson's backyard for more than 15 years. Richardson says the empty building doesn't bother her, but it might be of interest to local kids.

"Yeah, I think occasionally they have a little problem with children, but I don't think it's been that bad of a situation for them really," Richardson said.

She says she's lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years and she enjoyed living next to the school.

"I wish they could have kept it but if they can't, I know everything is changing these days so they'll have to do what they'll have to do." Richardson told 14 News.

Harmon expects the demolition bids to be well over $100,000.
 
"The savings generated from lowering our capital projects, expenditures for HVAC repairs, things like new roofs and things like that to deal with the older buildings that the school corporation still owns," Harmon said.

Officials say there was a plan to demolish the old Franklin School, which is currently leased by Gibson County, but for now that school is on the back burner. 

"They had investigated it jointly even though they leased it for asbestos abatement and demolition as well at Franklin School, but they never followed through with it. I think that will be discussed at some point in the future. I'm not sure when," Harmon told 14 News.

Bids will be accepted until January 31, when the school board will take over and decide which company will be demolishing the building.

They say demolition could start as early as next month. 

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