TRUMBULL COUNTY District begins demolition of former Liberty High School

Souvenir bricks from the building are available.
LIBERTY -- Want a piece of township history?
The old Liberty High School on Churchill-Hubbard Road is providing plenty of it as demolition of the 1920s-era building is under way.
"It's a sign of the times," said Liberty Superintendent Larry Prince of the project. "It's sort of the end of the tunnel for the high school building program."
The current high school building opened in 1999, and the old building has housed the district's maintenance and transportation departments since then.
Chuck Cera, the district's director of maintenance and transportation, said "about 80 percent" of the old building will be torn down. The gym will remain standing to become a warehouse, and the maintenance and transportation departments will still be housed at the building.
The district's athletic fields will remain at the old school.
Prince said that the board decided to demolish the former high school after comparing the potential selling price for the building and property with the cost of moving athletic fields and transportation facilities to the new school site.
"We felt it was cost-prohibitive, so the focus became what to do with the old high school," he said.
The district received a state grant to defray some of the cost of the demolition, which began Dec. 20. The work is being done by Excavation Technologies of Petersburg.
"I'm real pleased with the way it's gone," Cera said. He estimated that the building would be down "within the next couple of weeks."
After that, the district will collect scrap metal and lumber that can be sold and clean up the site, Cera said.
Memorabilia preserved
Some area residents and school booster groups have expressed concerns about artifacts and memorabilia that remained at the old school.
Prince said that class pictures and other photos of school groups have been moved to the school board's office, and trophies and other items will be put in the storage area at the old school.
Members of the public who want to examine these items should contact the school board office.
And if anyone wants a keepsake from the old school, there are plenty available in the form of bricks that have been recovered from the site. Each school board member received a painted brick at Thursday night's meeting.
"We have had some folks drive by and ask for one," Cera said. "And we've tried to make sure everyone that wants one can get one."

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