The Rock Island city council has taken the first step toward demolishing the former Lincoln School at 2125 7th Ave.
By a 6-to-1 vote, the council voted to override the city's preservation commission and grant a certificate of appropriateness for demolition. The commission denied the city's request for the certificate on April 25, but city law states the council may override the commission's denial.
Built in 1894, the building has been vacant since 1985. The city bought it in 2007 for $53,000.
Larry Miller was one of four people who came to Monday's council meeting seeking to convince aldermen to keep the school standing.
"The city should do whatever it can to keep it there," he said before the meeting.
Mr. Miller said he'd happily pay more in taxes if it meant saving the historic building. "It wouldn't bother me to pick up extra taxes for something like that," he said.
During the meeting, he reiterated his hope that the city would not demolish the building.
"That school should be saved at all costs," Mr. Miller said. "I'd hate to think of what might be there if it was gone."
Ald. Jason Jones, 5th Ward, cast the lone vote against overriding the commission's decision.
"From the beginning, I've been against demolishing it," Ald. Jones said after the meeting.
Ald. Jones said he thought the city would make it very easy for anyone who wanted to redevelop the old school to buy it. He acknowledged that whoever bought the building would have to do a lot of work to make it useable again.
"I think if we needed to sell it for a dollar, we would," he said. "The roof is not in great shape. The structure itself is very solid."
In other business, the council accepted Rock Island-based Valley Construction's street resurfacing bid of $748,878.20. According to public works director Bob Hawes, 24th Street between 5th and 9th avenues will be resurfaced, part of the sanitary sewer will be replaced and the water main will be completely replaced.
The council also voted to amend its agreement with Symbiont, the general contractor for the expansion of the Mill Street Sewage Treatment Plant. In a memo to the council, Mr. Hawes recommended the agreement be amended to pay Symbiont an additional $387,000 to install new controls and software at the plant.
Today is Thursday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2013. There are 222 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: Messrs. J. and M. Rosenfield have moved their leather and hidestore to the building formerly occupied by Temple Bufords's store. They buy and sellhides, pelts, furs, wool, beeswax, lard, tallow, etc. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Lumber Company has recovered 5,000 of the8,000 logs that were carried away by the Mississippi River flood last week. 1913 -- 100 years ago: John J. Ullemeyer has been awarded the contract to furnish RockIsland fire and police department members with uniforms, at the city's expense. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Work on Aledo's new $38,000 swimming pool was started thismorning at South Park when ground for the pool was broken by Mayor John W. Murphy. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Students and teacher at Moline High School called today "MissLeona Day" day at the school in honor of the government teacher who retires at theend of the school term. Although she's been teaching for 43 years at the school, Miss Dayfound a new way of arriving at the school this morning. At 7:30 a.m., a police squad carpulled up in front of Miss Day's home and escorted her to school. A caravan of students' cars joined the procession along the way. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Barbecue cooking and riverfront antics are planned for Discover the River Day Saturday in Leach Park, Bettendorf. A 5K run, wind surfing, a canoe race, hogcalling and more will round out the day under the Interstate 74 bridge.