- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - The Rockford School District will spend nearly $670,000 to tear down its former administration building and help clear the way for a $22 million downtown sports complex.

The school board voted 5-2 Tuesday on the agreement with the city of Rockford, the Rockford Register Star reported (http://bit.ly/1uG6tO9 ). The district will demolish its 130-year-old former headquarters and give the one-acre lot to the city. The board also voted 6-1 on bids to remove asbestos and perform the demolition.

Rockford plans to repay the district over the next five years by providing road salt, trees, a city alleyway, a sidewalk and demolition of houses near East High School to make room for an expansion.

Demolition plans this past summer were postponed because the district building and a neighboring building were considered supporting structures of the Haight Village Historic District, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency said. Attempts must be made to redevelop them and their architecture must be documented before they can be torn down.

Todd Schmidt, the district’s chief operations officer, said concerns related to the building’s historical status have been addressed and “there are no more issues with that.”

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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