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Monday September 1st 2014

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Blount’s Demolition Dollars

Local officials take another step today toward demolishing the old Blount School buildings.

During the Escambia County Commission meeting this afternoon, commissioners will be considering allocating $130,000 toward the cost of the facility’s demolition. The remaining $177,000 needed for the job will be coming from the city of Pensacola.

“Then we’re gonna tear that puppy down,” said City Administrator Bill Reynolds.

The city purchased the property last year for around $222,000. Officials hope to scrap the old school and open a new chapter for the city-block property.

“It’s zoned for residential, so I think there are a lot of options out there,” said Reynolds.

The old Blount School is located at 113 N. C St. The school consist of several buildings, all in unusable condition.

“They’re just not salvageable,” said Randy Wilkerson, director of the County/Neighborhood Enterprise Foundation, Inc.

Both the county and city are using community block grant to cover the cost of tearing the school down. Once the county and city have committed the needed financial resources, the demolition of the sites will commence.

“We want to do that ASAP,” said Reynolds, “because, obviously, it’s been sitting around forever.”

In the three decades since the facilities were open, the Blount School has steadily deteriorated. Long abandoned of students, the school now sees the occasional vagrant enter its halls.

“People will use it and then leave, if you know what I mean,” said Reynolds.

The city administrator said that plans for the grounds have not been determined.

“There really needs to be community involvement,” Reynolds said, adding that he expected some public input sessions before a plan was settled on.