Courtesy of SCVNews.com
The new owner of a 1913 schoolhouse in Newhall bulldozed the remaining half of the property despite opposition from Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society officers, officials announced Saturday.
The 100-year-old, two-story wooden school building was located at 24514 Kansas Street next to Jimmy Dean’s on Lyons Avenue and was destroyed within the last eight to 10 days, according to a source familiar with the property.
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The property was sold in April for $500,000 to an entity called Kansas Street Partners LLC, whose agent is listed as James S. Backer, a local developer, officials said.
The structure served as Newhall’s K-8 school from about 1914 through 1928, when it was replaced with a new building at the current elementary school site on Walnut Street.
The building was then divided into two parts, with one half being used as a private home and the other half destroyed, according to local oral history.
Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, who is also a board member of the SCV Historical Society, was “upset” to learn of the demolition and said she had not been forewarned, nor had Historical Society President Alan Pollack, officials said.
Had society officials known, they could have attempted to work with the new property owner to move the relatively small structure to Heritage Junction at Hart Park, where the group has saved several other buildings from bulldozers since 1980, Weste said.
Weste and Duane Harte, a city Parks Commissioner and the society’s treasurer, said they were told of possible development plans several years ago by a prior owner, but nothing came of them.
The property was not included in any formal city list of “protected” historical properties. Further, it is not cited as a cultural resource in the city’s original 1991 General Plan or the subsequent One Valley One Vision plan, nor is it on the list of properties protected under a more recent City Council ordinance, officials said.
The school building is Newhall’s third formal schoolhouse and was believed to be first used around 1914.
Los Angeles County assessor records show a construction date of 1913 with an expansion in 1919.
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