Facing close to $80,000 in estimated repairs, supervisors OK demolition of storied building
By Candace Sipos -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- After almost four years of sitting vacant, and numerous discussions about its future, the old Gainesboro Elementary School will come to the ground.
Despite some previous concern about its demolition, no citizens commented during a public hearing at Wednesday's Frederick County Board of Supervisors meeting. The board voted unanimously in favor of having the building, which is more than 70 years old, torn down.
The school, located on U.S. 522 north in the Gainesboro Magisterial District, would cost nearly $80,000 to repair, partly because of the amount of asbestos in the building. That figure does not include any possible contingencies or the cost of updating the utilities, such as the air-conditioning.
Kris Tierney, assistant county administrator, went through pictures of building before and after it was vacated, noting the peeling paint, deteriorating bridge work, buckling wood floors and roof leaks.
A day care center and a private day school have shown an interest in purchasing the building in the past two years, Tierney said.
"Nothing ever came of those discussions," he said. "There was virtually no follow-through."
He listed various other ideas for what to do with the building if it were to remain intact, such as using it for a community center, a branch of the Handley Regional Library, a day care center, or extra office space.
"There has been no real movement on any proposed use," he said.
"We've looked at all the uses," Shawnee District Supervisor Gene Fisher said. "We just couldn't come up with a better solution."
Some board members said they've had requests from residents about the property.
Chairman Richard Shickle said people have contacted him requesting bricks from the old building if demolished, because the school held such sentimental value for them.
Also on Wednesday, the board approved Carmeuse Lime & Stone's request to rezone 92 acres of its property in a 5-2 vote. The site next to the Clear Brook limestone quarry, between the intersections of U.S. 11 with Brucetown Road and Walters Mill Lane, will be designated extractive manufacturing instead of rural areas.