As negotiations continue with a demolition company to raze the old Pekin Community High School West Campus, the owner is looking at ways to recoup some of the money he has lost and also preserve some of the more prominent features of the more than 100-year-old campus.
Josh Haflinger, West Campus owner Merle Huff’s assistant, said the entire campus will come down all at once and that it “should be soon.” Haflinger is in negotiations with a company that will ultimately take down the five structures that remain on the property.
Part of the discussions involve some of the fixtures that will be salvaged from the old buildings — theater seats, light fixtures, signs and bricks.
Haflinger said he is hopeful that many of those items will stay within the community. Some items will, if accepted, be donated to the Tazewell County Museum and Educational Center.
One of the items would be the stone Pekin West Campus sign. Haflinger said he has yet to meet with Museum Executive Director Crystal Dagit.
The demolition experts will have to look at the campus to see what the expense will be to remove some of the items, especially those items to be retrieved from the buildings themselves.
“It will be whatever we can take down without disturbing the structure itself,” said Haflinger.
Pekin City Manager Joe Wuellner said that Huff will have to apply for a demolition permit from the city, which he has not yet done. He said that because of the health and safety issues associated with the demolition, Huff will also have to give the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency a 10-day notice so that it can review the plans for demolition.
Wuellner said he has not been informed of the status of the demolition.
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