The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 8, 2013

To revive or raze: Sandstone grapples with empty icon

(Continued)

Irene Sandell, who lives near the school and was Sandstone's librarian for more than a decade, thinks the best use for the building would have been as city hall. "We don't have a decent city hall," she said. "It would have been nice, plenty of room for parking, centrally located. The stone in this building would stand forever."

She remembers that when Rostamkhani first bought the school, there was a lot of buzz and anticipation. "He had a public meeting and wanted public input and we got pretty excited. He talked about little shops and up on the upper floors having apartments and lofts. It sounded pretty grandiose."

Now, Sandell wonders whether Allen can pull off such a massive project. "We've been through it a couple of times and nothing happened," she said. "I wonder if energy is better spent elsewhere."

"To redo it for sentimental value, I don't feel the sentiment toward it to spend money on it," said Sandstone city council member Phil Kester, who graduated from the old school. "It's a beautiful building and a humungous bill to do anything with it. There is mold and everything else. Lead based paint all over. You have nothing but a bunch of work there."

"In the long run, I really don't see the value to it," said Kester, who has rehabbed old houses all over town. "Just to put millions into it, you would be better off starting from scratch... I'm not a sentimental person."

Matters were made to seem more hopeless recently, when a team of thieves -- Griffith calls them "the professionals" -- broke into the school in the middle of the night and stole a load of copper wires and pipes, disturbing asbestos tiles in the process. The city, responsible for the building, had to post hazard placards. But it was also able to submit an insurance claim, which strangely could prove a good thing for the city and Allen.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • 8,000 get false notice of health care cancellation ST. PAUL — More than 8,000 low-income Minnesotans received erroneous notices that their health coverage would be temporarily canceled if they don't pay up. A July 17 notice warned MinnesotaCare subscribers that they faced a four-month coverage locko

    July 28, 2014

  • ND deputy hurt in scuffle Suspect charged with assaulting, trying to disarm law officer

    July 28, 2014

  • Fergus Falls plans deer hunt Hunters are selected by a lottery, pay $20 fee

    July 28, 2014

  • Man killed in home invasion Homeowner's son in Ray, Minn., fires fatal shot

    July 28, 2014

  • Charges filed in July 8 fatal Dodge Center woman criminally charged in fatal car crash

    July 28, 2014

  • American doctor in Africa gets treatment for Ebola BOONE, N.C. (AP) — An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola disease received intensive treatment Sunday in West Africa and was in stable condition, talking to his medical team and working on his computer, a spokeswoman for an aid group said.

    July 27, 2014

  • Salmonella Outbreak Trial [Duplicate] Trial in salmonella outbreak to start in Georgia ATLANTA (AP) — Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georg

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitfalls emerge in health insurance renewals WASHINGTON — For the 8 million people who persevered through all the technical travails in the new health insurance exchanges and managed to sign up for coverage in 2014, their policies will probably automatically renew come November when open enroll

    July 27, 2014

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas on Sunday agreed to observe a 24-hour truce in Gaza after initially rejecting a similar Israeli offer, as fighting resumed and the two sides wrangled over the terms of a lull that international diplomats had hoped c

    July 27, 2014

  • Solar car race to end at University of Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A cross-country solar car race is set to finish at the University of Minnesota on Monday. About 10 solar cars from colleges around the world are competing in the eight-day, 1,700-mile American Solar Challenge. The race began July

    July 27, 2014