NOTE: This article has been updated. Education officials changed demolition dates Monday afternoon and provided a list of students whose memorial markers have been collected from school properties marked for destruction.
The walls of Shupe Elementary will start to tumble down at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Demolition crews are ready to take “the first bite” out of the old Amherst school with the help of some lucky raffle winners. Public members who will get to help clobber the building will be announced at the Comets homecoming football game this Friday.
The plan now is to completely raze Shupe before moving on to Harris Elementary on Oct. 11, where there has been a small delay, said district building and grounds supervisor Chuck Grimmett.
That’s because workers discovered more asbestos inside the South Lake Street school, which closed this summer. Extra time will be needed to abate the dangerous material.
When workers begin digging at Shupe, they’ll do so gingerly in an area where a time capsule is suspected to lie, Grimmett said. They hope to find it near an old tree.
There are also six or seven memorial markers moved from the Shupe and Harris properties due to construction, he said. They were placed in memory of students who passed due to tragic accidents or childhood illnesses, and Grimmett wants to make a new place for them.
The memorialized students are Carson Rittenour (2000), Jacob Balda (1997), Jared Antus (1993), Jamie Orosz (1984), and Adam Knepper (1977).
The destruction of Harris and Shupe is a package deal to pave way for construction of a new PK-3 school on South Lake Street, where a construction fence has been raised.
The new school is projected to cost roughly $32 million, which includes the demolition cost. Groundbreaking will begin next year and the new school, called Powers Elementary, will open in July 2019.
The existing Powers Elementary School on Washington Avenue will be torn down once students transfer to the new building.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
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