SILVER LAKE — Silver Lake Partners, LLC, filed a Verified Petition for Judicial Review in the Kosciusko Superior Court on Saturday, June 9, petitioning Judge David C. Cates to reverse or modify Hearing Officer Thomas Earhart’s order to demolish the Silver Lake School.
The petition is signed by Michael N. Baur, who is listed as the manager of Silver Lake Partners, LLC, and was filed on SLP’s behalf by Counsel Bruce N. Munson.
The school was closed down approximately 10 years ago when Warsaw Community Schools voted to close Silver Lake, Claypool and Atwood schools. At that time, Baur expressed interest in purchasing and renovating the building, which had been slated for demolition. Town officials have stated that the building has become increasingly unsafe and dilapidated.
“The town council has tried to work with Mr. Baur, but at this point in time the building is basically just sitting there abandoned,” said Silver Lake Town Council President Chad Miner, who expressed concerns regarding the safety of the building, which is located beside Rambler Park.
A hearing was held May 16 regarding an order to demolish the building, with Attorney Scott Reust representing the town of Silver Lake, and Munson representing Baur.
It was reported that Calvin Bolt of Calvin Bolt Inspections & Testing, Warsaw, performed an inspection of the building approximately a year and a half ago. Excerpts from Bolt’s inspection report include, “Multiple broken windows, dead birds inside, extensive mold, window air conditioners that are very unsafe and need to be removed or repaired, rotted out roof sheathing.”
A decision regarding the status of the Silver Lake School building was made May 30, when Silver Lake Code Enforcement Officer Tom Earhart ordered that all buildings and structures located on the property be demolished.
The petition filed by Munson on Baur’s behalf reads, in part, “The order concerns a structurally sound example of 1930’s art deco architecture known as Silver Lake School,” and “The hearing officer’s findings, and the order, are unsupported by evidence and are arbitrary and capricious, and amount to abuse of discretion.”
The petition further states that the order “relies almost entirely on the report of Calvin Bolt” and that Bolt “lacked the experience, credentials and license to inspect commercial property.”
Bolt, a certified microbial investigator by the American Council for Accredited Certification as well as an Indiana licensed pest inspector and a former Indiana State Department of Health primary radon tester, submitted a nine-page report along with photographs. The report concluded that, “the building is not safe or habitable inside and is a hazard inside, due to falling ceiling tile and falling plaster, trip hazards with the humped floors, spilled paint and other liquids and especially the extensive mold.”
- Photo credit to Calvin Bolt