Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Old High School Remains to Be Torn Down

The Sallisaw City Commission voted Monday night at their regular meeting to demolish the remains of the old Sallisaw High School (above).

"It has become an attractive nuisance," Ward 2 Commissioner Jim Hudgens said, after it was pointed out by Ward 1 Commissioner Ronnie Lowe that the rotunda had been vandalized again. The commissioners voted unanimously to demolish the building remains, which includes the entrance, or rotunda, to the school. Flanking sidewalks, saved after an arson fire destroyed the building 11 years ago on June 9, 2004, were torn down earlier after engineers determined they were unsafe. Ward 4 Commissioner Daryl Legg said he wished the front of the building could be saved, perhaps for  a future community center. Plaques and other memorabilia attached to the building and property will be saved, including the engraved bricks which form a walk at the front and a bench at the front of the structure.

Demolish could possibly begin within a week to a month. City workers are still dealing with street repairs after a rainy May caused area flooding. The plaques on the building and the grounds will be offered to Sallisaw Public Schools. The plaques include one from the first graduating class of 1940-41, one announcing the building as on the National Registry of Historic Places, and one commemorating the construction of the school in 1940. The sidewalk to the rotunda is paved with engraved bricks, and those bricks will be offered to the persons and families who purchased them. The bricks were a fundraiser for the Old Sallisaw High School Association whick organized after the new high school was built to save the old building as a community center.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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