Group Protests Against Former High School Building Demolition - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WEST

Group Protests Against Former High School Building Demolition

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WEST - Dozens of people protested against plans to demolish a nearly century-old building during a West Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.

The coalition Save 1923 WHS Building asked the board to hold a public forum next month before it continues with its demolition plans.

Coalition spokesman Joe Mashek said the group wants the board to reverse its decision, secure the building and repair window damages.

Ultimately, the group would like for this building to be designated as a Texas historic landmark so it will be preserved.

"It is just a shame that they look at it without respect for that building, what it's done the people that have graduated, the teachers, the memories and different things that happened throughout history in that building,” said Mashek.

For Gayle Gardner this is a place that holds emotional value for her family.

“It is the last old thing. As if West hasn't had enough destruction, this is like a last stab in the heart,” said Gardner.

According to board of trustee’s president Larry Hykel, this building also means a lot to the board, but members decided to demolish it due to financial concerns.

He said it would cost nearly $4 million to repair and renovate it for classroom or office space. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will only give WISD $3 million for this building.

"We would potentially need the money to build our new schools so that would be the only reason,” said Hykel.

Mashek said he does not think the value of the repairs is accurate. His group is willing to pay another architectural firm to inspect the building and give an estimated cost of repairs.

The board will consider other funding options that would help keep this building. Hykel said it will discuss within the next days, if it will host a public forum on the matter.
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