- Associated Press - Thursday, November 20, 2014

FAIRMOUNT, Ind. (AP) - Demolition crews have begun tearing down the Indiana high school once attended by movie star James Dean.

Although numerous groups tried for several decades to save Fairmount High School, the process of razing the building started Wednesday morning. The demolition has been held up for several years due to a lack of funds and an asbestos problem, The (Fort Wayne) News-Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1xHn2yr ) reported.

The Madison-Grant Youth Basketball League has owned the building since about 2010, according to treasurer Matt Patton. After the nonprofit paid to have the asbestos removed in March, So C & S Metals of Zionsville agreed to tear the building down in exchange for its salvage.

On Wednesday, a large portion of the building’s south side was torn down, while the oldest and largest part will remain standing until spring.

“It went great as far as we’re concerned,” Patton said. “We paid for the asbestos removal, and basically the rest of it is at no cost to us. We will be left with whatever is not reusable. C & S’s main interest is the whole bricks. They’re getting the metal. If there’s some lumber in good shape, they will take that, but I don’t expect there will be much.”

Many local residents have said they’re no longer sad to see the building go because of safety concerns, according to Patton.

“Everybody who came by stayed in their cars,” he said of the Wednesday demolition. “At one time, we had five or six cars sitting beside the road watching.”

The school is known for its most famous student, the “Rebel Without a Cause” actor, who graduated in 1949.


Information from: The News-Sentinel, https://www.news-sentinel.com/ns

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