The final remnant of the Vader School — the school building itself — is gone. Crews knocked down walls and reduced the school to a pile of rubble this week, capping two years of failed levies and bonds and the dissolution of the school district. The land is now property of the Castle Rock School District, which has constructed a fence to keep anyone from being injured on the former school site.
While most of the main structure is down, work will continue for the next few days cleaning the site and hauling away the debris. The demolition is being done by Hensley's Excavating & General Contracting out of Castle Rock and is being paid for with up to $200,000 the Legislature earmarked specifically for the Vader school.
The 1950s building had to be demolished because Lewis County officials condemned it as unsafe in late 2006.
The work was delayed slightly when additional asbestos tiles were discovered in the floor. The amount was relatively small and the delay was to insure they were removed and disposed of properly, Facilities Manager Henry Karnofski told the school board.
Castle Rock took over the building site after absorbing the former Vader School District last summer. The Vader School Board voted itself out of existence earlier that spring after three failed levy and bond measures left the district unable to balance its books.
Vader students now attend either Castle Rock, Winlock or Toledo schools, but the Castle Rock district absorbed all the land and the building. The district also has redrawn its school board member boundaries to include Vader and is awaiting final state approval.
The future of the school site itself remains unclear.
When it was announced that Castle Rock would absorb Vader, officials said it would be good to keep the land in case a population boom ever called for an elementary school to be added there.
During the last school board meeting board member Glen Paget asked about possibly renting the land out once the building was removed. School officials said they'd report back with options at the next meeting.