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Old CHS Will Be Razed
Published: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
by Laura Schuler, C-T City Editor

CAPTION: The old Chillicothe High School at 1529 Calhoun will be demolished during the summer of 2009 after the R-2 board approved the 84-year-old building's sale and subsequent demolition to Red Rock CDT, Inc., of Hamilton, Mo., for $195,000. The work will begin once school lets out for the 2008-09 school year and is slated to be finished before classes resume in August 2009.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

After several years of topping the district's facility needs "to do" list, the razing of the old Chillicothe High School will take place next summer. Chillicothe R-2 school board members approved the sale and demolition of the deteriorating 84-year-old structure Tuesday night during the executive session which followed the regular November board meeting at district headquarters.

The board approved the bid by Red Rock CDT, Inc., of Hamilton, Mo., to purchase and demolish the building for $195,000. Wade Schroeder, assistant R-2 superintendent, says work will begin as soon as school is dismissed for the 2008-09 school year in May and will be completed before school starts up again in August of that year. The contract will be signed this month, according to Schroeder.

Red Rock's bid, which includes fill dirt from the north property near the Chillicothe R-2 administrative building, was substantially lower than the other bid submitted by the Nov. 20 deadline. The lower bid from DECO Companies, Inc, of Kansas City, Mo., was for $524,000. Board members approved bid specifications for the impending demolition during the regular October board meeting. The specifications call for the complete demolition of the old structure and graded dirt ready for planting grass where the building currently stands.

A drainage field will also be built at the site (for yet an undetermined additional cost) to allow for adequate storm water runoff. The specifications also call for temporary walls to be constructed on the adjoining walls of the newer buildings that surround the old high school. Schroeder estimated that the cost of the temporary walls would add on another $145,000 to the massive project (not including architect fees).

To help fund the project, the district has announced the sale of a portion of property west of the R-2 administration building. Board members, in executive session Tuesday, approved a bid of $10,000 submitted by Mystic Development, of Chillicothe, signed by David Buttman for two acres of property on the west end of the R-2 administrative grounds along Business Route 36.

Board members Tuesday night also advised district officials to prepare a counter offer for the sale of six acres of land on the east side of the R-2 administration property. The district received a bid of $784,000 from First Commercial Properties, represented by Johnson Company of Hamilton, Mo. Funds from that possible sale, would also be used to fund the demolition of the old high school.

In the regular meeting, Schroeder gave a PowerPoint presentation on the various demolition offers and bids for purchase of the district's surplus property. Included in his presentation were possible permanent and short-term options available to the district to replace three classrooms and three offices. along with some storage space, which will vanish once the building comes down. (More information on these plans will be published later in the Constitution-Tribune).

Making those decisions, Schroeder says, can come later now that a bid for demolition has been approved. Schroeder says that while it has become regrettably necessary to raze the old building, reasonable items will be salvaged from the building and many will be auctioned off to interested parties with funds raised earmarked for a marker of some sort, commemorating the site of the old high school.

The Grand River Historical Society has expressed interest in obtaining the ticket booth in the school's auditorium. Schroeder said, adding that the booth and other items of historical significance may end up there as well to honor the building's history. "We're going to try and make as many people as possible happy," Schroeder said. He added that he has already been contacted by numerous individuals interested in purchasing items including doors, bells, intercoms and lockers.

Those interested in purchasing historical items must submit requests in writing to the district's office by April 24, 2009. Schroeder said that requests for reasonable items would be approved and those items would be taken out of the old high school to be auctioned off. The auction and ceremony, Schroeder says, will take place on May 9, 2009.

For more on these events, along with photos, visit these pages on this website:

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