Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Trustees: school to be razed, not sold

| August 20, 2004 12:00 AM

By Paul Boring, Western News Reporter

After years of mulling over the fate of the historic old high school and processing multifarious ideas and proposals, the Libby School board unanimously agreed on Tuesday evening to have superintendent Kirby Maki look into razing the structure.

At the request of the board, Maki will research a plan for demolishing the old high school building.

³We¹ve been hearing a lot of information for a long time,² said board chairperson Teri Kelly. ³It¹s time we made a decision.²

The board previously agreed to explore the possibility of selling the old high school after a local group extended a $100,000 offer to the district. On Tuesday, several of the trustees expressed their disapproval with selling the property.

³This has been so difficult because everyone is aware of the value of historic buildings and I think we¹d all love to see it saved,² said trustee Melanie Wood. ³Like it or not, we are stewards of that land.²

Wood emphasized that Libby is currently riding out a stagnant economy, adding that the future will reveal a markedly different and thriving town.

³The building is in the heart of the town and we would have no control over how that property will be used if we sell it,² she said.

Trustee Lisa Bardole concurred with Wood, imploring the board to exercise foresight when making a decision.

³We have to think more into the future,² Bardole said. ³I think it¹s important that we don¹t sell it.²

If the district were to sell the property, the trustees would have to decide if a public election were necessary to garner community approval. Board member Jerry Frament was adamant that the old high school¹s fate lay solely in the hands of the trustees.

³We don¹t need an election for disposition of that building,² he said. ³We are elected and the buck stops here.²

Maki agreed to research the demolition process and present information to the trustees at the October board meeting.