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updated: 8/12/2014 9:19 AM

Brainerd campus demolition could cost $484,800

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  • Time is running out for the Brainerd Building in Libertyville. Demolition is planned for October.

      Time is running out for the Brainerd Building in Libertyville. Demolition is planned for October.
    PAUL VALADE | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Brainerd Building talks

Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct an error in the lowest demolition bid. The bid was $484,800.

If a love of Lake County history or a sense of schoolyard nostalgia is pushing you to say goodbye to Libertyville's Brainerd Building and Jackson Gym, you'd better act quickly.

The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board's facilities and finance committee on Monday reviewed newly delivered demolition bids for the long-shuttered buildings on Route 176, a step that moves the structures even closer to a date with a wrecking ball.

The lowest bid, for $484,800, came from a Michigan company called Dore and Associates Contracting, district business consultant Jess Porres said during the meeting in Vernon Hills. The highest bid was for $1.5 million.

The full board could approve a contract with the Michigan firm Aug. 25. The demolition itself is expected in October.

The Brainerd Building opened as Libertyville Township High School in 1917. The Jackson Gym followed in 1929.

After the present high school opened in 1954, the Brainerd Building was turned into a freshmen-only facility.

All classroom education there ceased in 1999 when Vernon Hills High School opened.

A community group had wanted to turn the Brainerd Building and Jackson Gym into a civic center, but the plans never got enough funding to move forward. In March, Libertyville voters rejected spending tax dollars on the project.

In addition to demolition, officials have to pay for asbestos removal at the site. That could cost an estimated $300,000.

Bids for that work are due Aug. 20.

Other problems have been encountered recently at the site, including broken widows and thefts of equipment, Superintendent Prentiss Lea said.

Additionally, the buildings contain a "high level" of mold.

As a result of those issues, officials will not let people inside the buildings to take commemorative photographs, Lea said Monday.

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