The South Bend-St. Joseph County Historic Preservation Commission has voted to reject a proposal to demolish the old Marquette School building. The South Bend Tribune reports the commission voted 4-1 to deny the request from the South Bend Community School Corp.
The district requested to demolish the building to create more outdoor space for the Marquette Primary Montessori Academy, according to the publication. The commission’s executive director, Elicia Feasel, said the district did not outline the safety issues that would lead to the demolition of a historical landmark.
The building was constructed in 1937 and has been vacant since 2011, when the district opened a new school north of the building. The district had planned to demolish the building, but the Tribune reports the council voted in 2007 to declare the building a landmark, preventing demolition without city approval.
Earlier this year, Indiana Landmarks included the building in its list of the "10 Most Endangered" places in Indiana.
"We’ve heard from some developers, we know there is potential to re-use the building," Todd Zeiger, director of Indiana Landmarks’ northern office told the publication, "but all the efforts to contact the school corporation to look at the building have not been granted access."
The district says selling the building was not part of its plans. You can read more about the dispute in the South Bend Tribune.