What was once a place for educating children will soon be an outdoor space for them to run and play. Demolition of Westminster Hills Elementary is …
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What was once a place for educating children will soon be an outdoor space for them to run and play.
Demolition of Westminster Hills Elementary is under way. By the end of the month, the school will be gone, and the space it occupied will be transformed into an open space area adjacent to Westminster Hills Park.
The elementary school is located near 80th Avenue in South Westminster. After it was closed in 2007, it fell into disrepair, said District 50 director of maintenance and operations Don Ciancio. Although the thought of tearing a school down is bittersweet, he said, the project is the best thing for the district and the community members living near the school.
“There are issues with the building, and that is what drove us to tear it down,” he said. “It was a vibrant school that worked well for the community, but now the next best thing for the area is to tear it down. It is the better decision for the district.”
But when one door closes, another one opens.
The city of Westminster is purchasing the eight-acre property and will turn it into an open-space area, eventually adding a trail to the perimeter of the property and Westminster Hills Park. Heather Cronenberg, open-space coordinator for the city, said the city was awarded a $408,564 open-space grant from Adams County to help purchase the property. The total cost of the land is $730,000, and the sale will be final by the end of July.
“It was a collaborative effort among the city, the district and Adams County,” Cronenberg said. “We are thankful for the grant that helped us purchase the property because it is hard to find undeveloped open-space sites in south Westminster. This will really add something to the area.”
After the school building is leveled and the site is graded flat, it will be seeded with native grass. A portion of the school parking will remain to allow for public access to the area.
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