Saturday, December 6, 2003

Burlington building's demolition OK'd

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - The two-story brick building that has stood in the center of Petersburg for 93 years will soon become a target for the wrecking ball.

The Petersburg Graded School building, which had been used as a community center until 2001, is being torn down to make way for a new community center.

County officials recently met with a community group in the Ohio River town of 300 to advise it about the demolition and plans for the new building.

"They definitely want the building torn down because of safety concerns and things like that. It's not being occupied now," said County Administrator Jim Parsons.

The first-floor windows of the lime-green building are boarded up and the door is marked with graffiti.

The school district sold the building to the county for $1 in 1988, said county parks director Ken Hund. The building constantly needs repair and is not accessible to disabled people, he said.

"The community will be better served" with a new building, he said. "Though it's kind of bittersweet."

The building's history as a consolidated school has been well-documented, said Matt Becher, rural/open space planner for the Boone County Planning Commission.

County officials say they have heard no opposition to tearing down the building.

Wednesday, Fiscal Court approved spending $14,800 for the demolition. It will take about 20 to 30 days to tear the building down.

The inscribed stone over the doorway reading "1910 Petersburg Graded School" and some of the bricks will be used in the new building, Parsons said.

Thursday, county officials interviewed three architects for the project. Petersburg Fire Chief Bill Birkle represented the town.

The new building will be attached to the fire station and the fire station will schedule use of the building, he said. The building also will be used for meetings.

The county budgeted $700,000 for the project including demolition, design and construction. A construction date has not been set.


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