Video courtesy of Lyn Crighton
NORTH WEBSTER — A large backhoe was moved onto the grounds of the old North Webster High School Monday morning, May 6, and to the surprise of many, the demolition began close to 2:30 p.m. removing the south exterior wall of the building.
While it was known that demolition would take place, several board members were not aware of exactly when the demolition would begin.
Work on the demolition halted by 4 p.m. exposing the second and third floors of the building. It is unknown at this time when demolition will resume.
The demolition is being done by Bunn Inc., Fort Wayne. Site managers and overseers is Michael Kinder & Sons, Fort Wayne.
According to information from the school’s yearbook in 1968, Tippecanoe Township Trustee Henry Strombeck started the building on the present site in 1910. It was completed in 1911 with the first graduating class that year.
The front portion of the school, as well as the gymnasium and side area were added in 1928. The southern addition to the school, was added in 1950. A new gymnasium was built along with several classrooms were added to the east and west side of the gym in 1956 following a fire earlier that year. The north wing was added in 1966.
After the high school was moved to Wawasee High School, the North Webster facility taught students from kindergarten through the eighth grade. In 1990, the building became just an elementary school after the construction and opening of Wawasee Middle School.
The building ceased being used by the school corporation upon the completion of the new North Webster Elementary. Vacant for a number of years, the building became the North Webster Community Center. However, because of deterioration from disuse, the south end of the building was beyond saving.
This location will now be the site of the new North Webster Community Public Library.