Article published Feb 3, 2007
PODCAST: Riverview debate continues01/21/2007
Saving school may be studied
By LATISHA R. GRAY
SARASOTA COUNTY -- School Superintendent Gary Norris agreed Friday to recommend an independent study to see if some parts of Riverview High School can be spared the wrecking ball.Norris met with the Save Riverview Committee and said he would talk to School Board members about allowing the National Trust for Historic Preservation to study the viability of saving some of the original courtyard buildings, designed by architect Paul Rudolph.
School Board members voted in the fall to demolish the buildings and use the land for parking and a bus loop once the new school is built.Mold, drainage and other problems have plagued the school for years, and school officials have maintained it would cost too much to save them.
But architects and preservationists say the district didn't do enough to try to save the buildings designed by Rudolph, one of the founders of the Sarasota School of architecture.
They recently nominated the part of the Rudolph campus to be included on the list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historical Sites."
"We're pleased that an organization of this stature will be looking into how the Rudolph courtyard buildings can really be used," said Mark Smith, a member of the Save Riverview Committee. "The National Trust will be picking up the costs, and we'll be working in close cooperation with the associate superintendent to make this happen.
"If the School Board agrees, the National Trust will bring in an architect to hold workshops and look at factors such as safety, costs and security.
The National Trust is a nonprofit preservation organization with about 250,000 members.The district hopes to have the new three-story campus building completed by August 2009.