Verona Historic Society asks city to protect 101-year-old school

Verona Historic Society asks city to protect 101-year-old school

The future of a historic Verona school building is up in the air. The Verona Area School District would give up the historic New Century School property and nearby Sugar Creek property as part of a potential agreement with the city.

In exchange, the city would help with a $5 million road construction project near a new high school that will open in 2020. The Verona Historical Society wants to ensure the New Century School, built in 1917, doesn’t get destroyed in the process.

“We’ve lost a lot of our historic structures over the last several decades,” said Jesse Charles of the Verona Historic Society.

Charles wants to make sure that doesn’t happen to the New Century School.

“This school really hasn’t changed much at all since the original construction. I went to ninth grade in this room, when the high school was under construction in the ’90s. It’s fun for me to bring my two kids and say, ‘I went to school in there,'” Charles said.

The city says it wants to preserve historic properties but wants to choose the most cost-effective option if it takes the building over.

“When you have older buildings, you run into asbestos or other issues and we don’t want to have additional costs,” Adam Sayer, the director of city planning, said.

Sayer said the city is looking at keeping the building and developing it for other uses.

“This building could easily be redeveloped. We’ve seen that around the area, especially with other companies turning old schools into apartments,” Sayer said.

Verona’s Common Council will discuss terms of the exchange with the Verona Area School District at its meeting Monday.