Demolition of Central high school, after ten years being for sale

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The Demolition of Central High School, finally began after ten long years of being for sale. A place of learning, many long-time Duluth residents remember graduating from there just fifteen years ago.

The Historic Old Central High School is still standing today, due to its architecture, it is historically significant. Meanwhile, Central High School’s demolition created strong feelings in many Alumni.

In 1970 the Duluth School Board decided to build a new Central Duluth school. This was to help replace the Historic Old Central High School due to age and safety concerns.

In 1971, a new Central High School built on top of the hill, and became the school for many graduating classes. The Historic Old Central High School became leaving School District administrative offices in the old building.

Central High School closed in 2011, and only just recently sold to Chester Creek View LLC. The demolition of Central High school began Monday, November 14th. However, many former students of Central High School made their feelings heard about the demolition.

One of the alumnus who felt strongly about the demolition was former Duluth Mayor Don Ness, who graduated in 1992.

“In fact, my senior year, the school board had voted to close Central, and there was kind of an effort by the community to kind of push back on that. And, and the school board did reverse its decision at that time. And many years later, they revisited it and then closed.” Ness said.

Duluth Public School district Superintendent John Magas, explained that the demolition was necessary.

“We know that this is a transition for people and we know sometimes transitions can be hard, but it’s important for us to move forward as a school district and as a community. It’s a bittersweet day. We know that there are many people who have strong attachment to Central High School, and we’ve worked with a number of people to think about the memorabilia and the traditions that are here.” Magas said.

The construction team has six weeks from now for the building to come down. During the demolition, the construction team plan to recycle 50% of the material from the project. Nathan Norton, the project manager with ICS Builds, said the progress so far is successful.

“If not more than 50%, but they’re on target to recycling 50%. So things are going really well, really smooth. Nice thing about working in the winter. We get a lot of equipment here. They’re not digging holes. They’re not building roads right now. They can focus on this project. So it’s been a real, real success so far since we started.” Norton said.

The overall demolition cost of Central High School is projected to be $30.5 million dollars. The Duluth public school district is building a new administration building and transportation center behind central high school. The completion of the new construction is expected to finish in the spring of 2023.

Even with the Central High School’s demolition, there is still an active alumni community. “There’s a group of central alumni who are, you know, who want to make sure that the legacy of Central High School kind of remains. And while the building is being torn down, those memories and that legacy needs remain an important part of our community’s history.” Ness said.

If you want to learn more about Central High School you can look on their Facebook page

If you want to read more about Central High School being sold to Chester Creek View LLC, you can read our story here