Demolition begins of old Palisade High School

Tuesday morning contractors went forward with the first stage of the demolition to make room for the design of the new medical clinic.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 8:55 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 9:43 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - In January, the Town of Palisade Board approved a contract for the demolition of the old high school. This demolition began Tuesday morning to make room for the design of the new medical clinic opening in Palisade.

Tuesday morning contractors went forward with the first stage of the demolition correlating with the three wings of the building.

“This is an exciting project because this school has been sitting vacant for 25 years,” said Palisade Town Manager Janet Hawkinson.

She says the town has been considering what to do with this building for over a decade and she’s thrilled it will be used for such a great cause.

“It was a really cool experience to have a lot of the dignitaries from the City of Palisade and from Community Hospital to be here as we took down the first initial part of the building,” said Mike Munch of DC Contracting. “It was the first initial demolition of the three wings we’re bringing down. There was a lot of excitement there because of what we know is coming forward.”

He says the demolition should be completed in four to five weeks. Then the reconstruction of the gymnasium will take a few more weeks. The demolition and reconstruction of the old gymnasium should be finished by mid-May.

“I know there’s a lot of sentiment about people who have gone to high school here and they’re sad to see the building go,” said Munch. “But then when I tell them about what the future plans are for the site and a medical clinic being here, it changes their attitudes and they’re happy to see that we’re bringing something like that to the community. So people don’t have to drive so far to get the medical help they need.”

He goes on to say there’s a lot of people who are sad about the old high school coming down. But he says the building has been a danger zone. For kids who get in, they can easily get hurt.

“We’re trying to do the best we can when we pull this down so if somebody wants to save a brick from the old high school that they have a chance to grab that or a piece of wood as a memento from the high school they graduated from,” said Munch.

The construction team is trying to save what materials they can and re-use them. Mike says the pre cast pillars were removed from two locations of the high school and they will be reused at the new gymnasium entrance.

“Salvage bricks from the residence if they want to come get bricks we’ll have a pile for them,” said Hawkinson. “There’s some wood beams they’re salvaging, taking things to different recycling centers so we’re really trying to recycle the whole building.”

After the demolition is complete, the design of the clinic will begin and the building will start in July or August. The town of Palisade and Community Hospital decided on ‘MOA Architects’ in January for the design.

In early 2023 the Community Hospital medical clinic and urgent care center is slated to open, making medical care more accessible for residents in Palisade.

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