Grade school to be torn down

Board unable to come up with alternative use for 30-year-old building

RANGELY I Talk about bringin’ down the house.
The “old” Parkview Elementary — which is how it has been referred to since the building was vacated at the end of the school year — will be demolished.
Rangely’s School Board voted unanimously at a meeting Dec. 18 to have the 30-year-old structure torn down.
“It was unanimous to shut ’er down,” said Barry Williams, Rangely school superintendent.
No timeframe has been set for the demolition.
“That’s still to be determined, as far as what date,” Williams said. “We’re looking at spring, but no date has been set.”
For now, the former Parkview Elementary will be closed up for the winter.
“We’ve boarded it up and cut the heat,” Williams said. “We’re looking at salvaging some (of the materials in the building), but we’ll have to go in and really assess that.”
Williams said he didn’t have a cost yet for the demolition.
The board had explored other options for the building, such as a new tenant, but found no takers. Last March, the board voted to close the old Parkview for cost-saving reasons and move preschool through fifth-grade classes to the former middle school building, while grades 6 through 12 were combined in what is now Rangely Junior/Senior High.
Community leaders were invited to attend the Dec. 18 meeting and offer their input on the future of the old Parkview Elementary.
“I just wanted to get everyone’s thoughts,” Williams said. “I wanted to know, one last time, before we make a decision to shut it down, does anyone have any suggestions.”
County Commissioner Ken Parsons of Rangely was one of the local leaders who attended the meeting, along with Tim Webber, director of the Rangely Recreation District, and Alan Ducey of Ducey’s Electric.
Parsons said the school board was in a tough spot as far as what to do with the old Parkview building.
“They were kind of between a rock and a hard place,” Parsons said. “Just the way that building is constructed — with the open concept they were using in the ’70s — it was not a very functional building. I think it would be very difficult to find a good use for a building like that.
“I would say I would concur with the decision (to demolish the old Parkview),” Parsons said. “There really isn’t anything that can be done with it. You can’t let a building sit idle for very long. It can be very expensive to get it back on line. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t find a good use for it. I think they’re taking the only reasonable route right now.”