The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 8, 2013

To revive or raze: Sandstone grapples with empty icon


Griffith is being careful with the arrangement with Allen, meticulously checking the paperwork to make sure it's clear who gets what when and what is required of whom. Allen won't actually gain possession of the school until he's remediated the asbestos and completed studies on lead and mold removal, signed contracts for the work, and shown he can pay for the processes.

Once he crosses the finish line, the city is prepared to give him the bulk of the insurance settlement it will receive related to the copper theft, as much as $100,000. "We can't collect on the insurance until we demolish or have the remediation done," said Griffith.

"We are trying to create the opportunity for something to happen," he said. "We can only go so far." He acknowledged that the deal could still fall apart. "It's not done until it's done."

Given Allen's religious affiliation, Kester thinks larger forces may be on his side. "If God is in his plans, then it will be done and made worthwhile," he said. "A lot of people want to save the building. And then they have to come up with the money. But nobody wants to do that. Jack is the first one who has met the challenge and wants to do it. With the Lord on his side it can happen."

Meanwhile, inside the school, in the enormous chute where the stairway used to be, Allen spoke with a gleam in his eye. "We will sandblast all of it," he said. "We're ready. We're working with a window company to put in all new windows. We'll do the electrical and the plumbing. We're going to clean the whole building out."

"The theory is we need to do it right because we're not going to do it again," he said. "With a project of this size, as we're bringing it around and bringing people into it, we want to know the community is happy with what we've done."

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014