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Old Paris High School demolition delayed

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT
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PARIS, Mo. (WGEM) - An old Northeast Missouri building is one step closer to being demolished after months of delays.

The old high school building in Paris, Missouri, began months ago, but there has been a stop in work in recent weeks.

According to Paris City Superintendent Barb McCall, the stoppage is due to asbestos.

Asbestos was commonly used in the construction of older buildings but has been linked to health problems such as cancer and lung disease according to the United States Department of Labor.

Due to the risks, there is a heavily regulated process in order to demolish buildings that contain asbestos.

“Now when that building needs to come down, anytime that asbestos is moved, then it has to be done in a proper way so we have asbestos reports that need to be taken, and then asbestos removal,” said McCall.

Once the asbestos is reported and removed safely, McCall said she hopes the three remaining buildings can be demolished quickly.

“We are in hopes of having those asbestos reports and removal done within the next month or so. We’re very hopeful that then demolition might begin ramping back up again this fall or late summer,” said McCall.

She said she knows there are lots of community memories in the old building, but that renovation would have cost much more than the demolition.

As a tribute to all of the former high school students though, McCall said that the city plans to repurpose some of the building materials.

“Yeah, it’s sentimental to see that old building come down. A way to kind of repurpose part of that building is... there are bricks in there that we will be revitalizing and repurposing into some new city signs,” said McCall.

She said once the building is completely demolished, there are several ideas floating around on how to best utilize that space.

However, she said those ideas cannot be disclosed just yet.

In the meantime, McCall urges the residents of Paris to have patience with the process and to avoid gathering bricks or materials from the site for their own mementos as the building remains unstable and unsafe.

The old Paris High School demolition site is littered with debris while the Asbestos is dealt...
The old Paris High School demolition site is littered with debris while the Asbestos is dealt with.(WGEM)

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