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Audubon school alumni can own part of old school

Attention, Audubon High School alumni: Would you like to own a piece of your alma mater as a memento of your youth?

You may get your chance, as the LP-A School Board is looking at options for allowing the contents of the old 1922 building to be auctioned off, prior to its scheduled demolition at the end of the current school year.

The auction may include such things as lockers, handrails, doorknobs, decorated glass panes and anything else that might be salvageable as keepsakes.

The 1922 portion of the school building at Lake Park-Audubon Elementary is scheduled for demolition starting June 6, to make way for upgraded and expanded facilities that will need to be completed in time for the start of the 2011-12 school year.

With classes at the school continuing through the last full week of May, there will only be a very narrow window of opportunity for salvage by those interested in keeping a memento of the soon-to-be razed building.

"The idea was to take sealed bids and let people come in and remove the items," said Lake Park-Audubon Superintendent Dale Hogie at Monday night's school board meeting.

However, after discussing the issue with the school district's insurance representatives, Hogie realized that there might be some liability issues involved.

The alternative, he noted, would be to bring in a skilled professional to do the salvage work.

The problem with this, as Board Chair Vicky Grondahl remarked, is that the board would first need to find out whether there was any interest from the public.

"Do we have a market for this?" she asked, noting that the district shouldn't do it if it would be losing money.

"My best guess is that we'll break even on it," Hogie said.

Board member Mike McIntire suggested that the district should take bids on items inside the old school "while it's still standing there," to determine whether there was enough interest to make it worthwhile.

If there's no interest, "then at least we've made the effort," agreed board member Bryan Anderson.

Another matter concerning the building demolition that was brought up at Monday's meeting is that there is a small amount of asbestos tile still remaining in the upper level of the school.

"There has to be an abatement done," Hogie said.

However, the amount is minimal, and Hogie said he does not believe it will affect the start of demolition.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved the purchase of $43,360 in classroom furniture for the elementary building, including new desks and chairs for grades 1-6, new chairs for the computer room, and 50 new band chairs.

The purchase of nearly $13,000 in partitions for the elementary school restrooms were also approved, as was an $83,000 bid for new high school lockers. All three of these purchases will be made from School Specialty.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454