Likelihood of saving Thacher continues to diminish


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

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.

  • Speedy Cash appeals city’s demolition decision

    21 hours ago

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Feb. 12, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The fight continues. On Friday afternoon, Peter Hoffman, an […]

    President’s Day closings

    February 12th, 2016

    Northeast News Feb. 12, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri —City, county and other area businesses will be closed Monday, Feb. 15, […]

    City officials reveal new plan to eliminate blight as part of FY17 submitted budget

    February 11th, 2016

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Feb. 11, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — In two year’s time, it’s the city’s goal for […]

    Mardi Gras celebration

    February 10th, 2016

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Feb. 10, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Columbus Park’s Don Bosco Senior Center was the scene […]

    Old House Expo at KCM

    February 10th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Northeast was a little extra historic this past weekend.

  • [Advertisement.]
  • City to Speedy Cash – you’re done

    February 10th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The wrecking ball has been spared once at the corner of Independence Boulevard and Prospect Avenue.

    Election season underway in Northeast

    February 10th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri Election season is starting to heat up in the Northeast.
    Three Northeast residents have already announced their intention to run for Missouri House District 19.

    Google Fiber coming to NE public housing by end of the year

    February 10th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Public housing in and around the Northeast will soon see faster internet service.
    Last week, U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro was joined by business leaders

    Charges filed in Pendleton Heights murder case

    February 8th, 2016

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Feb. 8, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jackson County Prosecutors have charged a Kansas City man […]

    Northeast residents get a glimpse of future with possible designs of The Paseo Gateway

    February 4th, 2016

    Northeast News Feb. 4, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Kansas City’s Parks and Recreation department hosted an open house last […]

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Upscale Baltimore Hotel hosted presidents

    Northeast News Eccentric. That’s how many described noted turn-of-the-century Kansas City architect Louis S. Curtiss.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    City to Speedy Cash – you’re done

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Feb. 3, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The wrecking ball has been spared once at the […]