Tour Milford Main on December 12, 9 am–noon – more information
At the November 19, 2015 school board meeting, the board approved a resolution asking for bids to abate and demolish Milford Main. The district has been attempting to sell the building for years, and there has been no interest (other than from Jim Cohen of CMC – that deal fell through early in 2015 when the City of Milford denied zoning changes for his apartment complex plan). A variety of developers have looked at the building, but their feeling is it would take too much of an investment to update and abate (it contains both asbestos and lead) to be able to garner a reasonable return. Community members who care about the building have also attempted to find developers who specialize in old buildings; there has unfortunately been no interest from this court, either. While the building means a great deal to many who have attended school there, it does not qualify to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As of today, there have been many ideas about what to do with the building, but no one has had funding to make their ideas happen. No offer has been made that includes keeping the building.
At this point, the district does not see any other option than to demolish the building. A school district is not – and cannot be – a landlord. That takes away from our focus of educating students. We did choose to rent out Milford Main for a number of years as we worked to figure out the best course of action. However, that was always seen as a short-term option while we tried to determine if the building could be saved and sold, rather than a long-term solution that made sense for district resources.
The Rookwood fountain, artwork (if hung on the wall), some lockers, and furniture that could be used elsewhere has been removed from the building. The district plans to save a limited number of bricks for those residents who are interested. The fountain is in protective storage and will be displayed in the future in a district building (location still TBD).
Until a bid is accepted for demolition and abatement – which will likely be at the December 17 school board meeting – the building is still available for purchase. I am hopeful that, now that the building’s demise is imminent, someone steps up at the eleventh hour to save it.
If no offers are received, the building will likely be demolished this winter.