By Jacqueline Quynh, Multimedia Journalist - email
Bulldozer taking down Old Ida Grove High School.
IDA GROVE, Iowa (KTIV) -
The old Ida Grove High School building has been a community staple for 90 years.
Generations of families in Ida Grove have walked through its doors, but like those former students, the school will now only exist in yearbooks. OA-BCIG school officials recently decided the building had to come down.
"It was the old fashioned typed school," Veta Willis, Ida Grove said.
Veta Willis last attended the school in 1993 as a junior high student. Commonly known as the old Ida Grove High School, Willis said she's sad to see it go.
"A lot of kids graduated from here, there's a lot of history on this historical site," Willis said.
Willis along with a dozen other people came out to see demolition crews bulldoze and clear away the building that so many, young and old in the Ida Grove community recognize as a keystone of their childhood.
"I always had friends that came here, and it's just sad to see the building go down," Madison Schreiber said.
"It's really sad because we had all of our school plays here and it was a lot of fun," Abbie Corr said.
"We just like it, it's part of Ida Grove," Willis said.
The school was built in 1923, and over the decades, school officials said it gradually became too small and run down to accommodate all the new incoming students.
"A lot of leaks and plaster falling off, it was just the time for it to go." Walter said.
The building was converted into a middle school, and then later into an early childhood center which ultimately moved when the building closed down 3 years ago.
"The school board made every effort to find somebody to take the building, and to figure out something to do with it," Walter said.
"Hopefully by tearing it down we don't have any more costs with the building, and somebody can make something of the space," Walter said.
But that's not cheap. Walter says it cost $175,000 in 1923 for construction and now, it costs $232,000 to tear it down. But, some are still disappointed more couldn't be done to save the building. No matter what comes of the space, Willis says she'll still come back to tell her kids what once stood in the neighborhood.
"I'll be looking at it, and saying there was my middle school, and hopefully when I have grandchildren, I can say that's where your grandma went to school," Willis said.
Demolition is expected to take up to two weeks. Once cleared the space will have green landscaping to make it look inviting for a developer. Walter says visitors can come and collect a brick as a souvenir from the old building, near John Montgomery Drive and 225th Street to pick one up.
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