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Sale of former Council Bluffs school building approved

Sale of former Council Bluffs school building approved

COUNCIL BLUFFS (AP) — The Council Bluffs school board has approved the sale of a former elementary school building that is slated for demolition.

The Daily Nonpareil reports the school board approved the sale of Walnut Grove Elementary School Tuesday evening to NeighborWorks Home Solutions for $104,000.

The nonprofit plans to build 14 new homes on the property once the building is demolished. The building was constructed in 1926, and two additions to the structure were constructed in 1951 and 1966.

The district shut down the elementary school at the end of the 2013-14 school year because the building was below standards, and the cost to repair it would have been between $12 million and $15 million. Students were reassigned to four other schools.

Superintendent Martha Bruckner said the board decided the nonprofit’s plans for the property was a chance for the school district to do something good for the neighborhood.

“The wonderful thing about it is we’re bringing new homes, new life, to a neighborhood we wanted to be kind to,” Bruckner said.

Resident Carla Limmer, who was at the public hearing on Tuesday, expressed concern about whether the nonprofit actually had definite plans for the property. Bruckner said no blueprints were ready because the sale and demolition of the building had to take place first.

According to Bruckner, the goal is to have the building demolished as soon as possible due to problems with vandalism. The district held an auction Saturday to sell materials from the former school like chairs, desks, tables, books and file cabinets.

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