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Old Kanab Elementary School to be leveled; Kane County School District maintaining property

According to Kane County School District (KCSD) Superintendent Ben Dalton, after a thorough asbestos assessment and abatement, the decision has been made to level the former Kanab Elementary School building. “It was nearing end-of-life,” explains Dalton, “between its old heating boiler … and a sprinkler and fire suppression replacement that would have cost $1.5 million, it’s time to bring the building down.” Even while still in operation, the building was experiencing infrastructure problems such as the burst sewage main that halted classes for two days in 2023. The old elementary school was, as many government facilities have been following a resolution by this year’s legislative session, subject to asbestos abatement. This necessitated the structure’s windows and other fittings to be removed and assessed, and to reuse the structure would involve costly replacements for a building that may not have much service life left regardless.

It may be somber to see the old elementary hollowed out and ready to come down, but the district is keeping the property’s legacy in place with plans for future educational facilities. Photos by Ty Gant.

The furniture and supplies held in the facility have mostly - between 90 and 95 percent, according to Dalton - been donated to other schools in the district, and what is left, including some of the playground equipment and modular units on the property, will likely be put up for sealed bid in the near future.

The school district has plans to maintain the property and some of its uses; says Dalton, “We’ll maintain the grass and the property, we’re not just going to let it all burn up … the cosmetology school will still be on site, and they’ll use the modulars that we’re keeping. So it remains the cosmetology campus.” There is also the possibility of using the concrete basketball courts as temporary locations for pickleball or other sports, and Superintendent Dalton says there have been offers by local athletics organizations to help with infrastructure necessary for that use.

“There may be other uses for it by the school district down the road,” said Dalton, citing the possibility for expansion of local middle or high school facilities or specialized locations like practical classes, “but it’ll be distant. The Superintendent explains that there is potential for a relatively low-cost route for the leveling of the structure; “working with the County for equipment, working with the local dump, sewage company, electrical … we’re looking to be able to demo it out ourselves, do it on our own, that would be much more cost effective than hiring a private company to do it.” There is also a possible rebate on electrical impact fees by removing the building from the grid.

Superintendent Dalton does not foresee the need to use the property for future elementary school purposes in the near future, stating, “It is a great location for that, in the middle of downtown near all that residential, but the new structure is rated for years of growth.” Dalton states high school or middle school activities are much more likely, as those facilities age and are closer to their respective capacities compared to the brand new elementary school with a bit more room to spare. The school district did not share a firm demolition date or timeline, as they settle the plans and funding.




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