Elmhurst High School will be torn down, but buyer Hanson Aggregates Midwest plans to make sure alumni and neighbors have some access to the school and can walk through it prior to demolition, the company said in a news release issued Thursday afternoon.
"Hanson understands and appreciates the many memories and sentiments attached to the former high school," Brett Pepple, Hanson's Ardmore Quarry plant manager, said in the news release. The announcement also said the company has closed on its purchase of the school property and adjoining farm field from Fort Wayne Community Schools, which closed Elmhurst after the 2009-2010 school year.
Hanson was one of two entities to submit purchase offers for the properties, which the FWCS board of school trustees voted in February to sell. School board members voted unanimously Aug. 14 to sell the properties to Hanson for its offered purchase price of $600,000.
Bunn Inc. of Fort Wayne had submitted a purchase offer of $250,000, which was not accepted, FWCS announced today.
The site includes almost 28 acres, including more than 15 acres on the school property at 3829 Sand Point Road and 12 acres of farm ground west of the school in the 4300 block of Sand Point Road, Hanson's news release said. FWCS will keep its South Transportation Center just south of the Elmhurst school property and the school's athletic fields north of the school buildings.
The company that now is Hanson Aggregates began its quarry operation in 1929 on land south and southwest of the Elmhurst site, and it has operated there continuously since, the news release said. The quarry now is one of the largest in Indiana, Pepple said previously.
Hanson has mined sand, gravel and limestone at the quarry, the news release said. The materials are used in construction of roads, bridges, homes, office buildings and as raw material for ready-mixed concrete and asphalt.
Quarry products have gone into construction of projects such as Fort Wayne International Airport, Harrison Square, Parkview Field, the original construction and ongoing expansion at the local General Motors plant, and for the city's current riverfront development project, the news release said.
When FWCS put the Elmhurst property up for sale, Hanson "saw it as a strategic opportunity to secure future limestone reserves to be provided for local building projects, and to extend its longevity as an employer in the area," Pepple said in the news release. "After concluding its site inspection and evaluating the (school) building's state of disrepair, the company determined that use of the building for other purposes was not an option.
"Over the next several months, the company will be working to secure the property for safety reasons," Pepple said. "Following that activity, and at a time yet to be determined, the building will be taken down."
Hanson will keep the community updated as its plans progress, Pepple said.