Kenyon to hold forum on abandoned high schoolThe public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of the old Kenyon-Wanamingo High School at a forum this month.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of the old Kenyon-Wanamingo High School at a forum this month.
Kenyon city officials will seek input on proposed uses for the abandoned building at the meeting, set for Wednesday in the Kenyon City Hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
"We really want to involve the community in getting the existing situation a positive resolution," Kenyon City Administrator Chris Heinenman said.
The old high school was forfeited to the state May 10 after the previous owner failed to pay owed property taxes. By state law, Goodhue County must find a buyer for the property, but Kenyon has the option to delay the sale by six months so that it can explore potential public uses for the building.
The meeting will be largely informational, according to Heineman. An engineering consultant will present the status of the building and the projected costs of renovation or demolition. A preliminary study in 2009 put much of the building -- built in three stages in 1916, 1938 and 1962 -- in deteriorating condition, with later additions generally in better condition.
After the informational session, members of the public and local government bodies will be able to discuss whether to delay the county's sale or to allow it to move forward. The city has two months to let the county know its intentions.
Heineman said the discussion could be a way to bring opposite sides of the ongoing debate over the building to a common ground.
"There is definitely a part of the community that has a preservation mindset, but there is also a part of the community that just wants to see it go," he said. "This will be a matter of balancing those extremes."
The old school, located near downtown Kenyon, has not been active since the Kenyon-Wanamingo School District moved to a new facility in 1998. The building was purchased by a developer in 2001, but renovation plans never materialized