• Historic school at risk of being torn down


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Leesburg landmark could have a date with the wrecking ball.

    The historic Lee School is rapidly deteriorating and the school system said it doesn't have the money to save it.

    Lee School dates back nearly 100 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    But inside, plaster is falling off the walls and weeds are pushing through the bricks.

    The Lake County School Board closed the school years ago and wants no part of the more than $2 million in needed repairs.

    "Can you legally knock it down?" asked Channel 9's Berndt Petersen.

    "Yes. Public entities can knock down a National Historic Registry. They have to go through a bunch of steps," said Chris Patton of Lake County Schools.

    The school board said it may tear down the school if no one steps up to save it.

    "I'm sure a lot of people who went there would be sad about it. But I'm not for keeping old buildings just because they're old," said former student George Kramer.

    Although the building needs more than $2 million in repairs, the building and the land were only appraised at $1.8 million and that was at the end of the housing boom in 2007 and it may be worth less now.

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