Crews Begin Demolition of Wisner-Pilger Middle School
PILGER. - Dozens of residents lined the streets to watch one northeast Nebraska landmark be torn down.
Friday morning construction crews began the long process of demolishing the tornado ravaged Wisner-Pilger Middle School. Dozens of residents lined the streets to watch the century old building be leveled. Chad Boyer, Superintendent of the Wisner-Pilger School District said that the brick building sustained major damage from the June 16th EF-4 tornadoes.
Boyer: "We had two independent structural engineers come in and do an assessment on the building immediately after the storm. Both of their reports concurred that the building did need to come down. It wasn't safe, it just couldn't be rebuilt in it's current state."
District officials are also making bricks from the building available to Pilger residents and alumni of the school first, then to the general public. The bricks will be piled on the northwest corner of the school lot in Pilger. Many alumni from the early days of the school were on hand Friday morning, reminiscing of their time attending kindergarten through 12th grade, at the Pilger school. Including Jim Duncan, Chairman of the Village Board and 1954 Graduate of the Pilger School
Duncan: "It's just plain sad, but you have to move on. You have to do what ever you have to."
Duncan said that he plans to donate a brick from the school to the local historical society to ensure the legacy of the building lives on. Duncan, and other members of the Village Board also say that while it's tough to see so many landmarks be removed, they're excited for the next chapter in Pilger's story.
Construction crews expect the process of demolishing the school to take roughly two weeks.