Mayo: McKinley targeted for demolition this summer

Gering Mayor Ed Mayo says McKinley school is targeted for demolition in June or July this summer. Mayo made the statement during a discussion at Gering's council meeting Monday night where resident David Carter asked the city's leaders to save what he considers historic buildings like the school.

The nearly 100 year old school and the square block around it was purchased by the city last year as part of a planned residential housing project with Western Nebraska Housing Opportunities. The city plans to place single family homes on the property over the next three years with the help of a $470,000 state housing grant.

Mayo says the school must come down first because of the vibrations that may have an impact on the infrastructure of buildings in the square block area. He says it will also remove a building that is attractive to vandals.

Council members applauded Carter for his effort, but said buildings like McKinley and the former Lane Auction House are in such disarray and require so much money to renovate they need to make way for new projects. Council members said the city needs to be "selective" in the buildings that are renovated. Mayo told Carter "just because buildings are old doesn't make them historic."

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