The Blue Building’s auditorium and gymnasium could be little more than a memory by Christmas. Tri-State Development has 60 days to remove the buildings.
McMinnville officials voted last week to pay Tri-State Development $238,800 to move forward with demolition. The price included $9,500 to salvage and stockpile 170,000 bricks and $500 to remove and replace existing shingles.
Keith Bouldin, of Tri-State Development, plans to pile up all the brick and allow the city to keep what it considers salvageable, says Alderman Ken Smith.
“As I understand it, instead of counting every one of those bricks, he is just going to put all the bricks in one area,” said Smith. “It will be more than 170,000 bricks. It doesn’t mean they will all be useable, but it will be more than 170,000 bricks.”
The brick found to be in good condition will be cleaned and used on the facade of the building officials are thinking about constructing on the empty lot. Consideration is being given to a complex for both the fire and police departments.
While the fate of the two buildings has been sealed, the destiny of the main building is still unknown. If ownership remains with the city, consideration has been given to renovation and using the facility for housing the city’s Police Department and a multi-purpose facility with a welcome center and rental spaces.
On the list of possibilities is a request by Industrial Development Board director George Burke to take the property out of the city’s hands. He has asked officials to allow him one year to market the building as an economic development project and as a means of recruiting jobs to downtown McMinnville.
Attempts by the Southern Standard to get a definite day when demolition will begin were unsuccessful.