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updated: 11/4/2010 4:01 PM

Big Hollow sets demolitions

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Two vacant Big Hollow school buildings are on track to be torn down by the end of the year, school district officials said Thursday.

Big Hollow Elementary District 38 Board President Vickie Gallichio said the district approved a bid of $284,800 for demolition of the former Big Hollow Primary and Taveirne Middle School buildings at routes 12 and 134.

The bid, approved during a meeting Monday, also includes having any asbestos safely removed from both facilities before demolition, Gallichio said.

"Now, we just need to get demolition permits through the Lake County Regional Office of Education," she said. "The exact timetable isn't known right now, but we are still pushing to have it completed by the end of the year."

The contracts for the project still need to be drawn up and approved by the district, Gallichio added.

The approved bid includes grading the land after the buildings are down, and reseeding the ground.

District 38 announced in October it was accepting bids to demolish the vacant facilities to make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

The two structures on the 12-acre property have been vacant since 2006 when newer school buildings were constructed in Ingleside after residents approved a District 38 referendum in 2005.

However, the district has had trouble selling the prime piece of real estate for their $5 million minimum asking price.

Gallichio said the district hopes removing the buildings will make the site more attractive to buyers who won't have to pay for a tear-down project on top of the land purchase price.

"Developers would have to pay about $1 million to have the buildings demolished and the asbestos taken away," she said. "But, because we can go through the lowest bid process, it is cheaper for us to do it. Hopefully, this greatly improves the chances of a sale taking place."