The is deliberating, in conjunction with the borough’s Citizens Advisory Committee, over potential uses for several properties in town. One of those properties, the Decker House, could soon be up for demolition in order to make way for new recreational space.
The house, which is located adjacent to the baseball field behind Butler High School, may be beyond saving due to its current dilapidated state and the presence of asbestos materials in the house, according to Butler Superintendent of Schools Mario Cardinale.
“The house is very old and in some measure of disrepair. We really have no particular use of the house as either an office building or a classroom,” Cardinale said. “You couldn’t use it for instructional space given the many code updates that need to be made.”
With that, alongside cost, in mind, representatives from both the borough and board of education are looking at razing, or demolishing, the house.
“The committee has been meeting to discuss facilities and the group discussed recommending to the board that the house be razed so that several things could happen,” Cardinale said. “We might want to re-construct that ballfield, because we do have such a limited amount of playing fields here in town. The Decker House and razing it might mean better use for that field.”
No timetable has been set for the demolition of the house, although Cardinale speculates that, if this winter continues its mild trend, extra funding originally allocated for snow removal may become available for the project.
“We’ve been unable to have the funding available to raze house in the last two years. With the mild winter we’re having, we may have some budgeted dollars not spent on snow removal,” Cardinale said. “We may have some dollars available to look at razing the house at some point in the next several months, but we all know March (weather) can change.”
“We’re hopeful of making a decision on available funding and the commitment of funding within the next month or two,” continued Cardinale.
Cardinale also noted that the district is currently searching for the best price for the demolition, if it is to occur.
“We have begun to get prices. One seems to be for total demolition, removal and disposal of materials that would be somewhere just under $28,000 and that’s just one price,” Cardinale said. “We’ll be looking at others, but we do believe that to be a very good price.”