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Landmark to be torn down in Pa.

May 31, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A long-standing and nostalgic Waynesboro landmark will soon fall to the wrecking ball when work begins in July on the demolition of the East Junior High School building on East Main Street.

Sheran White, spokeswoman for Summit Health, owner of the school building and Waynesboro Hospital across the street, said no decision has been made on what will be done with the land. "It will possibly used for some future health care facility," she said.

Demolition won't begin until after the annual Summer Jubilee festival, which is held on the East Junior High School grounds.

White said it would take about three months to raze the 62-year-old building.

Before anything else, workers must remove asbestos from the building.

Construction of the old school, which replaced a high school building on the corner of South Potomac Street and Snider Avenue, began in 1935. It was finished two years later at a cost of $150,000.

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Its last year as a high school was 1962, when the current Waynesboro Area Senior High School opened. The old school then became East Junior High.

The school board closed the building for good in 1989. It had been used occasionally for special events but now is sealed.

The school board earlier this year discussed buying the building back and renovating it, but the selling price of $1.5 million apparently discouraged board members.

Summit Health, which also owns Chambersburg Hospital in Chambersburg, Pa., bought the school building at auction in 1990 for $500,000.

Its classic architecture is typical of its day - a two-story center section set off by columns in front and a cupola on the roof, flanked by two one-story wings.

White said the foundation will be demolished and the hole filled in.

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