Likelihood of saving Thacher continues to diminish

Thacher-exterior

Thacher damage. Thacher was built in 1900 and features a Second Renaissance Revival style. Arson damaged the 1914 addition two years ago, gutting the second floor and leaving the first floor severely compromised. Vandals have also contributed to the decline of Thacher. Due to the damage, KCPS staff have recommended demolition, which could occur as early as this summer. Thacher closed in 2009 as part of the district’s right-sizing initiative. The three-story building totals 34,100 square feet, has 18 classrooms and is located in the Indian Mound Neighborhood. Leslie Collins

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
May 15, 2013

Now that the Kansas City Public Schools’ Board of Education has approved reinstating middle schools, the possibility of saving the former Thacher Elementary School building is becoming less likely.

Board members approved reinstating middle schools during an April 24 meeting and plan to use Northeast Middle School and Central Middle School to house seventh through eighth grades beginning in 2014.

Three years ago, the district shuttered its middle schools as part of the right-sizing initiative to balance the budget and because KCPS wasn’t getting the results it wanted academically, said KCPS Public Relations Manager Andre Riley.

KCPS currently houses kindergarten through sixth grades in the same building, and for high school, grades seventh through 12th.

Parents began asking the district to reconsider opening middle schools and a Middle School Advisory Committee comprised of parents, community members and KCPS staff then made the recommendation to reinstate middle schools.

Thacher, which was shuttered during the right-sizing initiative, sits at 5008 Independence Ave. and shares an 8-acre plot with Northeast Middle School. Originally built in 1900, the three-story building features Second Renaissance Revival style architecture. Due to arson and vandalism, Thacher has suffered extensive damage and rehabilitation would be costly. To date, no one has offered to purchase the building.

District staff have recommended demolition of the site and the recommendation is awaiting  board of education approval.

“There’s real concern about Northeast Middle as a school and having a burned out vacant building on the same site,” said Shannon Jaax, KCPS Repurposing Initiative director. “What kind of environment does that leave for the children? It truly does become a safety issue.”

Before formal action is taken, KCPS plans to hold additional community meetings regarding Thacher. Jaax said KCPS is still open to re-use, but doubts a buyer will come forward.

If the building is demolished, the site could be used to enhance the Northeast Middle School campus and options would be discussed on how to best use the vacant lot, Jaax said.

“At this point we haven’t found any viable re-use (for Thacher) in the near term,” she said. “It’s a very difficult building to reuse in its current state with a shared site with a school.”

 

Comments are closed.

  • Snyder’s Grand Re-Opening celebration draws big crowd

    May 28th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News May 28, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Six and a half months of hard work paid off on […]


    Royals Opinion: Injuries to Gordon and Moustakas are gut punches, but no death knell

    May 27th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Can one play really submarine an entire season? […]


    KC Museum hosts KU students for humanities boot camp

    May 27th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News May 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A group of panelists from the Northeast offered career advice to […]


    Local officials visit reStart shelter, serve lunch

    May 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News May 26, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A group of legislators and local officials convened at the reStart […]


    Northeast Farmer’s Market to open rain or shine this afternoon

    May 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News May 26, 2016 Attention, Northeast residents: despite the weather, the Northeast Farmer’s Market will be open this afternoon […]


  • [Advertisement.]
  • KC Streetcar service back up and running after delay

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News May 25, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Smoke found near construction on Main Street just after 11:00 a.m. […]


    KCFD internal report on deadly fire yields 14 recommendations

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 25, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A 71-page report released by the Kansas City […]


    KC NoVA offers warning, social services to violent group members at latest call-in

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Several dozen members of Kansas City’s most violent groups answered the call of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance on Tuesday, May 17, meeting


    Grand Re-Opening for Snyder’s to be held this Saturday

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News With three weeks of operations back under their belt after a six-month closure, management and staff at Snyder’s Supermarket at Independence and Prospect are planning a blowout grand


    SVU takes note of rise in domestic violence cases

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News According to the KCPD’s 2015 annual report, 15 of Kansas City’s 110 homicides in 2015 could be attributed to domestic violence.
    The KCPD Domestic Violence section – a subset


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Thoroughly modern courthouse

    Northeast News This linen postcard, showing north and west sides of what at the time was the new Jackson County Courthouse and the intersection of 12th and Oak streets, was

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    KCFD set to issue report on deadly Independence Ave. fire

    Northeast News May 24, 2016 The Kansas City Star reported this afternoon that the Kansas City Fire Department will release […]