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November 27, 2012 9:16 am

EDITORIAL: Salvaging Southside

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Potential for old school site to be used for new purpose

A school building without students faces an uncertain fate in coming months.

For decades, the old Southside Elementary School has stood as a familiar fixture in Powell, but students haven’t occupied its classrooms for nearly two years.

Without any use for the 29,130 square foot building, Park County School District No. 1 is now getting ready to sell the facility and the 3.07 acres it sits on.

While it faces several possible fates — including the wrecking ball — we hope another organization finds a new use for this old building.

As Rob McCray, school board chairman, said, “It’s certainly a building that could be functional for a lot of different things, so we would like to see it be utilized (as is).”

Under the residential general zoning of the area, the old Southside could be developed as a medical facility, a church or, of course, a school. Though it can’t be developed as a commercial business, there’s still potential for the property to be repurposed.

We’re reminded of Deaver’s old school that a Canadian company recently purchased for its manufacturing operations. The lesson from Deaver’s school story is to think outside the box.

Selling the facility in its current state is more profitable for the district than demolishing it.

We’d like to see Southside renovated and repurposed rather than torn down. However, if the Powell school district isn’t able to sell the old Southside at a reasonable price, then it will demolish the building and sell the land.

In recent years, demolition of school-owned buildings has stirred high emotions in the community. After all, these are buildings residents care about. Schools often serve as the hub of activity and life in a neighborhood, and even when a new facility replaces it, we still have ties to the old building.

With recent updates and a sound structure, the old Southside is certainly salvageable. Now it just needs the right buyer.

2 comments

  • Comment Link November 27, 2012 9:57 am posted by clipstein

    why worry about this school when you had no concern for any other buildings that could have been used like Deaver is.......Karma isn't nice is it?

  • Comment Link November 28, 2012 9:18 am posted by Salty Dawg

    OMG...the bricks are dirty...quick tear it down like you all did the middle school.Yes...Karma really is a you know what ain't it.

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