West ISD School Board Suspends Demolition of Historic High Schoo - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

West ISD School Board Suspends Demolition of Historic High School

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 KCEN— The original West High School building lives to see another day.

Last month’s decision by the West ISD School Board to demolish the 91-year-old building was suspended Tuesday night after a heated two hour public meeting.

At one point, a resident warned the trustees that they will be going to the ballot boxes in a few months, followed just minutes later with an insult going back to high school from one of the trustees.

“It was a fight like you have with your big brother,” said Superintendent Marty Crawford. “At the very end of fighting with your big brother you give each other a hug and say we’re going to figure out a way to make this better.”

The compromise agreed to suspends any plans to demolish the 1923 school. But by not tearing down the building, trustees say the district will lose $4 million in funding that would be partially from FEMA. Money that was going to be spent on building the new high school and middle school.

“You are taking money away that we could invest in our children,” said Vice-President Missy Sulak.

Superintendent Crawford says the loss of funds will force changes for the new schools.

“While there are some painful things we've had to do reducing the scope of the new facilities, it's not going to be reduced terribly.”

The deal also agrees to cover all the buildings openings to prevent rain and animals from getting inside, and creates a four-person committee to discuss the future of the 1923 building. The members will be President Larry Hykel, Superintendent Crawford, West CFO Charles and “Save 1923 WHS Building” coalition executive member Joe Mashek.

“I’m pleased with the suspension of the decision,” said Mashek. “I’m still not pleased with the money they keep talking about to restore the building.”

Another part Mashek wasn’t pleased with, the decision that a third party inspector will not be allowed to examine the building because of pending litigation.

The coalition hopes to eventually get the 91-year-old building registered as a historical landmark, and possibly turning it into a museum. As Mashek sees it, representing the proud history of West and serving as a landmark of those who survived the blast.

“This town has had enough destruction.”
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