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City of Peru to receive old Washington School property after demolition

Posted by wlpo on February 10, 2015

For as long as you can remember, the tan brick, two-story Washington School building has overlooked Washington Park in Peru. Soon that sight will be only a memory. Peru Public School officials have been open about their plans to have the old building torn down after the addition and renovations to Northview School are completed.

What happens to the old schoolyard will be up to Peru city officials. The school district and city council have agreed that the 5.5 acre school property will be given to the city for $1 after demolition. The plan is spelled out in an agreement approved Monday night by the city council.

Superintendent Mark Cross says they think it’s the best decision for the city because the school district will pay for the asbestos abatement, demolition, and site work. The money for this is coming from approximately $1 million in bonds. Cross says the district will pay for those bonds using the money they save by refinancing the Parkside School construction bond debt.

The district will continue to pay off the Parkside construct debt using a half-percent sales tax. Under the agreement, the sales tax will not increase or be extended.

Alderman Dave Potthoff likes the agreement because it doesn’t create an additional cost to city and it doesn’t leave the city with an old building.

Alderman Mike Radtke says it’s hard to see a downside.

The school board will likely approve the agreement next Wednesday. Cross says Northview is scheduled to be ready for students in late August or early September.

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