The 75-year-old vacant school building in Lincoln City known as Old Taft Elementary is slated for demolition. The three-phase project will begin in October, with all buildings removed by April 2014.
Rich Belloni, support services director for Lincoln County School District, says the 67,563-square-foot building, located on Southeast 50th Street, has not been used as a public school since 2007. The property has been on the real estate market for several years but there has been little interest from prospective buyers; and it is costly for the school district to maintain, even when empty. So, district officials have decided to remove the structures and restore the site to a grassy vacant lot.
Beginning in October, Phase One demolition will include asbestos abatement, capping of water and sewer lines, and disconnecting electrical power. The asbestos abatement job was awarded to the lowest bidder, Atez, Inc. of Harrisburg, for $149,956 plus permit fees of $5,800.
Phase Two will begin in mid-November and includes demolition of the centrally located science building.
Phase Three begins in January and includes the demolition of the gym (the southernmost building) and the main building.
Belloni says every attempt will be made to recycle or reuse materials from the structures before demolition begins. The buildings will not be used for fire training because they are too close to other buildings and homes in the area.
The school district is working closely with Lincoln City officials to ensure public safety and reduce disruption to nearby neighborhoods, he says. A temporary six-foot construction fence will be placed inside property lines and sidewalks. The demolition will not affect adjoining properties, streets or sidewalks.
Old Taft High School was built in 1938 and was used at various times for high school, middle school and elementary grades until 2007. In 1951, a 63,744-sq.ft. building was constructed on High School Drive, up and out of the tsunami inundation zone. That location is now home to Taft Elementary. The current Taft High 7-12, with 154,560-sq.ft., was built nearby in 1997.