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Maple Terrace Apartments

The Longview Police Deptartment will have a little more time to use the former Maple Terrace Apartments for training exercises since the college has put off demolition until mid-August.

One of Longview's creepier buildings will continue to haunt students and neighbors at the west end of the Lower Columbia College campus for at least another month.

The Maple Terrace Apartments won't be demolished until mid-August at the earliest, interim vice president Nolan Wheeler said Wednesday.

The 62-unit Maple Street complex has been vacant — or at least has had no rent-paying tenants — since 2007, when the college bought it for $2.5 million in anticipation of building a new health and science building. The site has become a neighborhood eyesore, with tall weeds and grass reaching up to broken-out first-floor windows. A chain-link fence surrounds the two-story complex. LCC maintenance crews mowed the overgrown grass Tuesday, but the site still clashes with the manicured lawns and sparkling campus buildings next-door.

The 63-year-old building will be replaced with a new parking lot, and the college hopes to construct the $37 million science building on an adjacent site.

College officials were forced to delay construction on the building because they didn't receive state funding they expected to get this year. The project is near the top of the state's list for funding in the 2013-15 biennium, but that means construction is at least two years off.

The state is paying to raze the building. Wheeler said demolition likely will take place during two of three weekends — those of Aug. 13, Aug. 20 or Aug. 27.

The Longview Fire Department will conduct a training burn on the complex to kick off the teardown.

Demolition date has been delayed several times. Most recently, an Aug. 6 was scrapped to avoid conflicts with the town's Squirrel Fest, as well as a cycling race around the Civic Center just a block away.

Wheeler said officials are anxious to get the building razed.

"That block can't be cleaned up fast enough for me," he said.

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