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Efforts underway to preserve historic school building in north Sacramento

Efforts underway to keep historic school building in north Sacramento from demolition
Efforts underway to keep historic school building in north Sacramento from demolition 02:02

SACRAMENTO — New efforts are underway to save one of the most historical sites in north Sacramento from being demolished, but some fear the action could turn it into a neighborhood blight.

The north Sacramento school along Dixieanne Avenue has been a fixture in the community since 1915.

The Spanish colonial-style campus features an old bell tower and auditorium that served as a meeting spot for generations.

"It was one of the earliest civic buildings in this community," said.

A century ago, the school was promoted as a reason to move to the neighborhood, historians say.

"They used the school as a way to attract families with children," said.

For the last 15 years, it has sat vacant, boarded up, and fallen into disrepair.

"It is definitely showing signs of wear and tear," said.

The site is owned by the Twin Rivers School District, which has listed it as surplus property.

"They put the building up for sale and there was a potential buyer, and the first thing the buyer did was file for a demolition permit," said.

That prompted neighbors along with the group Preservation Sacramento to get the school listed on the local, state and national register of historic places. However, some business leaders expressed concerns about the historic designation, fearing it would restrict potential redevelopment.

"It makes it more difficult to demolish," said. "It makes it easier to fix up."

Preservation advocates say historical landmarks become eligible for redevelopment incentives like grants and tax breaks.

"We do see a lot of these buildings being rehabilitated all the time and becoming profitable," said.

Many would like the campus turned into a community space and housing. They hope that fixing up this old school will once again attract a new generation of families to the neighborhood.

"The idea is, 'Let's bring it back to life,' " said.

Preservation advocates hope to raise more money to fix historical properties like this by adding a fee to new building permits.

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