Group tries to save home set for demolition

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A group based in Georgia is trying to save an old home set for demolition. It’s on Church Street by Lynn, and it’s owned by the school district. Some in support of preserving it are making one last push to stop that from happening.

Neighbors told us the home, nicknamed the Bailey House, has been going downhill for years. A lot of the windows are busted out, and animals and people have been spotted roaming in and out.

“It’s just falling into very bad disrepair,” said neighbor Cheryl Frazier. She’s watched over the years as it’s changed. “The roof’s in terrible shape. The attic windows are opening, and animals go in and out, birds.”

Champaign schools owns it now. They have plans to demolish it to make room for Central High School’s new softball field, but a group based in Georgia called Saving Old Houses is trying to preserve it. Creator Scott Reed said Mary Miyagawa, a group member in Champaign, asked them to help.

“She reached out to me and said that she was really concerned about the future of this house and understood that it was facing immanent demolition,” said Reed.

They met with the school board to figure out their options. The district agreed to let them offer it for free as long as someone pays to move it, which could cost around $65,000. Frazier feels it would be a bad idea.

“It would be a total waste of money to move it, and you couldn’t find a place to move it anyway,” she said. But Reed said it just needs the right people.

“The greenest house is the one already built in a time of environmental awareness. We already have these materials. We already have a wonderful building,” he explained. “When we have the ability to get the word out and when we can all work together and build this awesome community that we have, we stand such a great chance of saving these buildings.”

There’s an open house happening at the house on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. If you’re interested in this home, Reed suggests you come prepared. Bring tools to measure spaces, as well as a contractor and someone with knowledge of moving homes so they can provide estimates.

If you already know you’re interested in the home, contact Saving Old Homes at savingoldhomes@gmail.com. Time is of the essence. Someone needs to claim it by October 14. Otherwise, it will be demolished.

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