WELTON — Eighty-five years after the first students began classes in the Welton Consolidated School, a wrecking ball is on its way.

“(The demolition) should probably be done by the first of May,” Carol Hansen, superintendent of the Central School District, told Welton City Council members at a meeting last week.

“People have asked about things that are inside the building, like chalkboards. Once we turn it over to whomever gets the bid, the people should deal with him or her,” she said.

Trophies and class pictures were removed from the school recently and are stored in the new fire station, pending a decision about where to display them.

The gymnasium, which was built in 1953, will remain, to be used for athletic team practices.

Hansen also presented the council with a survey of the school property, including a 1.213-acre parcel the school district plans to sell.

That property rests in a floodplain and includes a creek. A bridge in poor condition over the creek will become the responsibility of the buyer, Hansen said.

People interested in bidding on the parcel should contact Jan Culbertson, school district financial officer. For questions about the survey, they should see Keith Walker, director of buildings and grounds.

Still to be determined are sewer and water rates the school district will owe the city.

“As soon as the classroom building is down, people are going to want to start using the gym,” Hansen pointed out.

She told the council the school board members would like to hold their June 14 meeting in Welton.

Also, Engineer Mat Saur was asked by the council when plans for the new municipal water system would be ready for bidding.

“I think that would be this spring some time,” he said.

But council member Tamie Simmons questioned, “Do we have to wait until we get that money before bidding?”

“We know what we’re getting,” City Clerk LeAnn McCallister agreed.

They were talking about an $85,000 grant to pay for the planning phase of the project. The city already has been assured of a state revolving loan for construction of the system.

Waiting for the formal word on the grant from the DNR “just pushes us that much longer” into the construction season, Simmons said.

McCallister suggested seeking bids in March and Saur agreed: “I don’t know why we couldn’t.”

He said the plans and specifications are ready except for some minor details.

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