Deal to Sell Old Independence High School Dead

By Forrest Saunders, KCRG-TV9

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — It was only a buck to buy, but the city of Independence still thought it was too expensive.

Back in March, the city had a tentative agreement with the local school district to buy its old high school and 20 acres of land for a dollar. The property is located on 5th Ave Southeast. Ideas for it included moving the police department or civic center there.

After having the building inspected, what first sounded like a bargain started looking too costly. The city said engineers estimated it would cost more than $250-thousand to tear down the facility, perhaps $2.5-million to bring the building up to code. City officials believed that was more than tax payers would want to spend.

The two sides announced the deal was dead earlier this week. Now, the district has to figure out what’s next for the facility.

“When we campaigned for the bond issue for our new junior/senior high school we promised the community we would do something with the building and the property. Now that we haven’t been able to reach a deal with the city it’s time to move forward,” said Jean Peterson, the district’s superintendent.

The school board will discuss their next move at an upcoming meeting, August 18th. Some city council members said no matter what happens to the property, they hope to purchase at least some of the land from the district to turn the municipal pool into an aquatic center.

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