SV Elementary demolition halted pending historical review
SPRING VALLEY - The old Spring Valley Elementary School demolition began earlier this month but has been put on hold until further notice. The delay in further demolition comes from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the need for a historical building review.
Spring Valley School District Superintendent John Groh said, “The 1929 building as far as we know is not a designated historical site on a registry for the nation or the state, but it does show up on the Wisconsin Historical Society Architectural History Inventory as a historical example of architecture.”
The website that the building is listed on shows examples of types of historical architecture as referrals for those who would like to see what particular forms of architecture look like. The Spring Valley school is listed as collegiate gothic architecture. If there was a need for reference for that type of architectural style, the building could be used as a reference.
“Because this is somehow listed with the state on an inventory list, when the DNR goes through all of the environmental impact studies before demolition they also have to look into this as well,” Groh said. “My guess is that the building does not need to be kept but it does need to be documented. We are working with firms who specialize in architectural reviews and they will help us with the documentation of the historical significance of the building.”
This is a very uncommon occurrence and Groh explained that this would normally be taken care of ahead of time if they were aware of the issue.
“The architecture firm and the building construction firm said this is extremely rare,” Groh said.
This has come as a surprise to everyone involved with the demolition and the goal is to work swiftly to get this issue resolved.
“I was informed of this just about two weeks ago and we immediately stopped with demolition and we won’t continue until this review is complete and unfortunately, my guess is it will probably delay the process about five or six weeks,” Groh said.
The main priority is to keep everyone involved updated and keep the demolition site secure and safe until they can move further with the process.
“We met with the Village Board, Emmaus Church and building contractors last Friday and we reviewed where we are at and just day by day we wait for updates and what our next steps are,” said Groh.
The school district and village have considered a few firms for this review but have been working closely with Hess Roice, a historical consulting firm from Minneapolis. This firm will likely complete the building review for the DNR and then the process will continue from there.