EVERETT — The Everett School District is moving closer to demolition plans for the Longfellow building, an elementary school that opened in 1911 and later was used as office space.
It’s been vacant for about five years. Other ideas and suggestions for the site have come and gone, including a museum and a shelter.
Superintendent Gary Cohn expects the school board to award the demolition bid at its July 3 meeting, according to an announcement Wednesday.
The Longfellow building is at 3715 Oakes Ave., next to Everett Memorial Stadium and close to the district’s headquarters on Broadway. The demolition includes the annex building.
In internal emails, district officials say, “These buildings are in very poor condition, and due to their age, condition, and type and style of construction are expensive to maintain and upgrade, and virtually all of the finishes, doors, windows, hardware, and equipment need replacement,” according to public records obtained by The Daily Herald.
The district has said the building would need millions in repairs to make it safe for public use. In the 2015-16 school year, utilities and maintenance costs totalled $24,400, records show.
The demolition has been talked about for at least two years, but there were internal conversations about putting that on hold while unrelated ballot measures were planned for 2016 and 2018.
The future of the property has drawn plenty of comments from historical preservation groups and others. There were offers to buy the building, but the offers weren’t deemed viable by the district, which sought documentation of how maintenance and care-taking costs would be covered.
Historic Everett took out a half-page newspaper ad in February urging the district to preserve Longfellow.
In the ad, the group noted that Everett native son and U.S. Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson was one of more than 25,000 students who had attended the school, and that he had been an author of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Records show that items of potential historical interest are expected to be collected. Among other examples, an antique desk was set aside, and Everett firefighters have said they’d like to save an old fire bell.
Updated estimates put the demolition and redevelopment costs at about $1.3 million. The site then will be used for parking, with 48 stalls. A construction timeline is pending.
Reporter Eric Stevick contributed to this story.