Neighbors push to save Thacher Elementary School

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Residents in the Indian Wood Neighborhood are desperately trying to save the historic Thacher Elementary School from being demolished.

Kansas City Public Schools wants to get rid of the vacant century-old building to make room for a multi-purpose field for the soon-to-reopen Northeast Middle School. The two schools sit on the same property, and the district plans to open the middle school in August.

A group of residents, who live in the area near the schools at E Independence Ave. and Hardesty Ave., feel like the elementary school is part of the neighborhood's foundation and would like to see it renovated into a community center.

Saturday morning, the group is hosting a rally at the nearby Children's Memorial Lutheran Church to gain support in the effort to save the building.

The district gave residents two months to come up with a viable plan, but those two months are up next week. Many have voiced interest in adding a fitness center, café, gallery and meeting rooms, but the school needs a lot of work. It has been vacant for five years and has fire, water and mold damage.

Residents are confident that renovation will work if the district is supportive. They plan on presenting their ideas to the board on February 26.

Tuesday's rally will include speakers from the school board, as well as a march from the church to the elementary school. It starts at 10 a.m.

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