building, a longtime eyesore at the eastern end of Lee Avenue, will finally come down, thanks to a vote of earlier this week of the board of trustees of the Arkansas School for the Blind and School for the Deaf.
The building has been a subject of contention for years (see the most recent Times
), since Easter Seals, which leased the land from the schools, attempted to sell its building after it moved to new headquarters. It leased out the building for a while. There were competing offers on the property at one point, one by a Little Rock resident who wanted to build a single family home there and another by a businessman John Chandler, who would have used the buildings for his clothing business, but they were rejected. The schools issued Easter Seals an eviction notice in 2012. Since then, it got a grant from the state to remove asbestos from the building and demolition approval from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
On Monday, Rogers and Dillon Demolition and Excavators will begin to fence off the area to begin work. It will tear down the building and haul off what can't be ground up for fill. The $149,500 contract for the work gives the company 45 days to finish, a spokesman for the schools said.
The schools have not yet decided what to do with the property, which abuts Knoop Park on the north and school property on the south. It will be a restored as a greenspace initially.