The city of Geneva gave the go-ahead Monday to demolish the former Sixth Street School, leaving the next approval step up to a state historical agency.
The Geneva City Council voted 8-1 in favor of granting a demolition permit. A super majority vote was needed for approval, because the city’s Historic Preservation Commission had recommended the building be preserved. Commissioners had hoped that a buyer might be interested in adaptive reuse of the former school building, which was constructed in 1924 and is the present home of the Regional Office of Education.
The discovery of asbestos and an underground storage tank has upped the expected cost of demolition from $300,000 initially to more than $407,000. Kane County has a contract to sell the property to the Geneva Library District for $1.5 million. Library officials hope to use the site as a future campus.
At Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting, County Board member John Hoscheit publicly thanked Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and the Geneva City Council for giving the go-ahead. “Hopefully, we can move forward with that project,” Hoscheit said.
The next step for demolition is approval from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
“At a certain point, you can’t keep something going,” Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said at Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting. “But I think we can all be sensitive to maintaining our buildings.
“The next step on Sixth Street School, is to submit the (proposed demolition) to state historical agency. So we still have a hurdle that needs to be cleared.”