Old Grayville High School could be demolished with federal grant - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

What's next for the old Grayville High School building?

Posted: Updated:

Firefighters continued to put out hot spots Monday afternoon, two days after fire destroyed the old Grayville High School. 

The old Grayville High School has been closed since 1992.

Neighbors said they've watched the building slowly deteriorate over the years and city officials said that they've been working to secure a federal grant to finally get the building torn down.

But city officials said the fire could put that money in jeopardy.  

Flames burned for more than seven hours Saturday night as the community watched and shared memories about the old high school.  

Now just a skeleton remains as alumni filter through to see what was their alma mater.  

Kent Gay watched as fire crews extinguished a re-kindle in the room where he took home economics.
  
"It might have done the city a favor, but it's probably going to cost more now," Gay said.
 
The fire started a demolition process that was a long time coming. City officials say they have applied for a Brownfield Grant through the US EPA.

"It has asbestos in it and it's gotta be inspected for that before they even grant the money for the cleanup and it's very expensive. You're looking at a half million dollars up just to clean it up," Mayor Joe Bisch said. 

The old high school has been selected for a site visit, but to receive the grant officials have to have plans for what the site will become.  

"At this time we're looking at building a community center in this spot and a small playground down in behind it," Mayor Bisch said. 

The property isn't owned by the school district or the city. It's owner is Korean Reverend Moon Bark. Bark is delinquent on property taxes and officials can't find him.  

"We don't want to voluntarily take it, because then it's our responsibility to clean it up. If it's forced upon us then we have the opportunity to get some help," Mayor Bisch said. 

The community center could be dedicated to more than 80 years of students that once walked the halls.  

"I'd like to see them try to save part of it, like the pillars and some of the moldings at the top," Gay said. 

Officials said they don't have any suspects yet. They are looking for one or possibly more arsonists that intentionally set several fires inside the building.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Grayville Police or the White County Sheriff's Office.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow