Historic Defiance High School building to be demolished

Historic Defiance High School building to be demolished
(Source: WTOL)

DEFIANCE, OH (WTOL) - A building that has been a part of a community's history for a century will see the wrecking ball this year.

After passing a levy to build a new combined Junior and Senior high building, Defiance City Schools has tried to keep the old high school building by combining office space with city departments, and have worked with a variety of developers.

But the price tag of renovating the 100-year-old structure was too high.

"The cost for renovation and the cost to remodel for any kind of a purpose ranges anywhere from 10 to 25 million dollars, depending on who's doing the estimating and what the purpose is." said Mike Struble, superintendent of Defiance City Schools.

Many in the community are distraught at the idea of losing an iconic part of the city.

"When you move in and then have something torn down so quickly, it's over with. And their mind be a hindsight of 'Oh, I guess we could have done this'," said Carol Hull, who's father graduated from the old school building.

"Sometimes maintaining the past and having it present for the future, that it is costly. But, the cost is worth it," said Donna Goebel.

The historic community auditorium and adjacent old middle school building will remain.

Superintendent Struble himself is a graduate from the building, but because the demolition cost would be covered by the state, he said it is the most fiscally responsible decision to say goodbye to the old high school.

"I understand the sentiment, we certainly don't relish having to make that kind of a decision. But I think it is the best for the school and the community to move forward in this," said Struble.

Even though Defiance City Schools said they fully intend on staying the course and demolishing this building this Fall, that hasn't stopped a group of Defiance residents from organizing on Facebook.

They met Friday night at the Elliot Rose Guesthouse.

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