The Press Newspaper
The former Coy Elementary School, built in 1926 at the corner of Pickle and Wheeling, was demolished at the end of last week.
“Unfortunately, the old building had deteriorated to the point of being unsalvageable,” said Dean Sandwisch, director of business affairs for the Oregon City Schools District.
In 2007, a new Coy Elementary School was built at 2630 Pickle Road, near Schmidlin Road.
The district had held a public auction of the old 43,000 square-foot, three-story building, which had an appraised value of $1,282,400, on May 15, 2008. The school board rejected a $375,000 offer from Sunoco, Inc., the only bidder. The board then decided to take the 10-acre site off the market.
“Also at that time, they had the Wheeling Road project planned, and they thought that maybe it would increase the value of the property along Wheeling Road,” said Sandwisch. “Of course, the housing market has gone downward since then. We’ve kept it up as much as we could over the years. If we put it up for sale, it will probably be up for auction again.
The school board at a meeting on Dec. 12, 2011, voted to have the building razed. The board had approved the bid of D&R Enterprises, from Genoa, to do the job.
“Asbestos, wood and metal had been removed from the interior of the building. It’s looking pretty shabby by now. But it will all be on the ground by the end of the week,” Sandwisch said on Tuesday. “The chipping away of the building, with the crane knocking down the walls, will begin in earnest by Wednesday afternoon.”
By tearing down the building, the district hopes to attract more interest from potential buyers of the property.
“The land will be returned to a Greenfield and will be much more attractive to a potential buyer than with a dated and deteriorated building on site. The new board will determine what the next step is in regard to this property,” he said.
“Greenfield simply means we’re taking everything out, including the basement,” Sandwisch continued. “We’re not going to crush the concrete and asphalt and put it in the basement hole. We’re actually going to remove all of that and bring in clean dirt. So there will not be anything remaining of the parking lot or the building when we’re done.”
For those wanting a memento of the building, individual bricks will be available at the old Coy site during demolition on a first come first serve basis and while supplies last, he said. The Wheeling Street gate will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“There will probably be a couple of hundred bricks right by the Wheeling Street gate during the normal work day. We’ve had the historical society pick up some bricks, and a teacher’s group that formally taught there has reserved some bricks,” he said.