Demolition work is now underway on the old Baker Elementary School located on the southern edge of District 50 at Lowell and 64th Avenue. Interior demolition is just about finished, with the exterior of the building scheduled to come down during the first part of 2015.
The current Baker building was built in the 1930’s with multiple additions and improvements over the following decades. It closed for good in 2008.
After its closure, and during the early stages of demolition, District 50 has gone to great lengths to try and salvage usable material from the building. “If it has value, we have been very good about going in and getting it,” said Don Ciancio, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. “In addition, the demolition crew will recycle a lot of the materials.”
Ciancio estimates it will take about six weeks to finish the external demolition of the site.
The nearby Kids First Health Care Center, often known as the Baker Clinic moved its operations to the Early Childhood Center (ECC) earlier this fall. ECC is located at 8030 Irving Street.
The demolition of the Baker building has historical overtones. Though the original building, constructed before the turn of the century, has long since disappeared, the Baker name is an important part of the region’s history. The school was named after the frontiersman Jim Baker who was a trapper, scout and guide. According to historical accounts, Baker built a home near what is now 53rd and Tennyson.
Demolition also continues on the site of Clear Lake Middle School in the neighborhood south of Ranum Middle School. Clear Lake Closed in the 2009.