You Asked: Why is Wilkinson Street School allowed to remain an eyesore?

Josh Bergeron / – Now closed to students, the former Wilkinson Street School is flanked by a partially demolished car. A large, wooden board covers a section of windows on the front face of the building.

A longtime school building is up for demolition.

The Frankfort Independent Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a motion Monday night to move ahead with demolishing the Wilkinson Street School building. The next step is for the board to accept a bid for the project from a company. 

There is no timeline for when the demolition will occur and the board does not have a plan for the property after the demolition. 

“I fully recommend that the board team, with declared emergency, approve the demolition of Wilkinson,” Superintendent Houston Barber said during the meeting. 

Board member David Garnett asked further about the basis of the “emergency” for the demolition. 

“It’s no longer functional. It’s a risk to citizens and people who are local. It’s a risk and a liability to be taken up,” Barber said.

“And it’s an eyesore,” Garnett added. 

Wilkinson Street School is a single-story, 7,000-square-foot building that was originally an elementary school. The building was more recently used to house an alternative program for city and county schools students until 2011. The school building is near the FIS administrative office. 

According to a 2011 article from The State Journal, the building is over 65 years old. At the time of the article, a report from the Kentucky Department of Education ranked the building as being in the fourth-worst shape of 477 public school buildings.

FIS issued a request for proposals for the demolition of the school building in September. 

The board also had a few presentations Monday, including: 

  • The possibility of partnering with the Downtown YMCA to move its after-school program to Second Street School and serve FIS and Franklin County Schools students. The YMCA of Central Kentucky has similar programs in some Lexington schools. 
  • The possibility of implementing a system and resources from Terrace Metrics to monitor schoolwide and individual behavioral health.

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