How to donate to Red Cross Hurricane disaster relief

Group attempts to stop demolition of KCMO elementary school

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Time is running out for Thatcher Elementary School, which is in danger of being demolished. The school was shut down in 2010 and burned a year later.

Now a grass-roots group is trying to save the school from being knocked down.

It has been more than five decades since she attended the old northeast elementary school at Brighton and Independence Avenues, but former student Sue Anne Erb says it feels like it was just yesterday.

"I grew up on Quincy Street," said Erb. "This is where my heart is, northeast."

A lot has changed since Erb went to school at Thatcher elementary.

"I think our community really deserves more than what it has,” said Erb. "Can you imagine, turning, coming down Independence Avenue and seeing one big blank space?"

As part of the Kansas City Missouri Public School District's Right-Sizing Plan, Thatcher closed four years ago, and then a year later caught fire.

Now the school sits in disrepair, and neighbors say it's an eye sore.

Crispin Rea Jr. With the Kansas City Missouri Public School Board says the school building is dangerous.

"The concern that the district has is that it's a safety risk and the safety risk is heightened because we'll be re-opening the middle school here so we will have more students, younger students within very close proximity to the building," said Rea.

The grassroots group that rallied here Saturday morning has until Wednesday to convince the school board not to tear it down, while it works to attract developers to re-purpose the historic building.

"The northeast doesn't have a community center that's active so we're looking for community meeting space in this area," said Manuel Abarca, who is part of the northeast grassroots group.

The group estimates it will cost millions.

Rea says the board hopes something else can be done with the building but time is running out. Rea says the school board will likely vote to give the grassroots organization another month to come up with a plan at its Wednesday meeting. If it doesn't the building may be torn down before neighboring Northeast Middle School re-opens in August.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

2 comments

  • Mike Finley

    It is sad as my father was the building custodian there for many years. Looks as though he is gone and so is one of the things that remind me of him, when I drive up and down the avenue. Used to be such a great community.

  • mikspapa

    Only the KC district would tear down something they spent MILLIONS of dollars to build less than 15 years ago. Seems to me they built an addition on to Thatcher connecting it to NE Jr. Counting the houses they purchased to connect them, that was one heck of a waste of money. However, if memory serves me, the KC district was famous for throwing away money they could have used for better purposes……