The site of the former Woodville Elementary School on Cook Rd. in Mansfield became a demolition zone Thursday morning. The former elementary school has been an eyesore and public safety concern for over thirty years, but thanks to funding available to the city through block grants the city is finally able to address the problem.
Mayor Tim Theaker hosted a press conference to formalize the beginning of the demolition process that is expected to take about three weeks. The mayor worked alongside Law Director John Spon, Economic Development Director Tim Bowersock, Codes and Permits Manager JR Rice, Public Works Interim Director Angelo Klousiadis, and Assistant Law Director Sharon Wessleman for the project.
The effort was a collaboration of multiple city departments and Director Spon pointed to the benefit of that collaboration, “Certainly it shows that when you have government that comes together from all sectors working together, unlike Washington D.C., we’ll get things done.”
“This has been an eyesore in this community and this neighborhood for a long time...It is something that we definitely needed, it was a campaign promise when I ran for mayor,” said Theaker. “Today is the day that we start and I want to thank everyone here for their efforts.”
The mayor was given the honor of initiating the demolition with the excavator and Director Spon followed him.
Some area residents were at the former school Thursday morning to support the endeavor.
Funded through grant monies, the demolition will cost $37,500, which is substantially lower than the original estimate of $76,000. Russ James, a contractor from from Zanesville, anticipates completing the project within three weeks.
The future of the site once leveled and seeded is yet to be determined.