Group wants school’s beautiful blond brick to go back to the KC Northeast community

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A wrecking ball will soon smash into a Kansas City, Mo., elementary school that has been closed for several years. Two months ago the Kansas City Public School Board voted five-to-four to demolish the old Thacher Elementary School, 5008 Independence Avenue. On Monday representatives from Gator Industrial, the contractor set to tear down the century-old school, surveyed the site in preparation of their upcoming demolition project.

They were met by about 30 concerned citizens and school board members.

"We're trying to do everything in our power to stop that from happening," said Manny Abarca, with the group Save Thacher, Save Our Schools. "But we realize that the school district's gonna keep the train rolling no matter what."

During the meeting, Gator Industrial answered neighbors' questions and laid out its preliminary demolition plans for the school that closed in 2009. The Thacher demolition project will consist of four phases. On Wednesday, the contractor begins its environmental assessment, which will include removing remaining asbestos from the building.

"..just hate to see this building go. It's just a monument here int he community," said Sue Ann Erb, who went to Thacher Elementary.

Thacher bricksOnce the building is gone, the district plans to use the site to expand athletic and extra-curricular activities at Northeast Middle School.

Since the group couldn't save the building and the demolition will proceed in spite of their objections, they say now their main goal is to use bricks and other materials from the historic school building at parks and other sites on the city's northeast side.

"We realized that if the building does come down, we want all of this brick to go to the community," said Abarca.





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