Remediating Vacant Lot
4:22 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Argonne to Clean Up Site of Abandoned School

The town of Argonne is planning to remediate the site of its former elementary school.  And a new grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will cover a quarter of the expected cost. 

Argonne School, pictured here about a hundred years ago, closed in 1991.

Town clerk Don Gordon says the 3-acre site next to the town hall is currently a vacant and overgrown lot. 

“There is extensive cleanup that has to be done – there’s a lot of bricks and trees and what have you, that all have to be leveled, cleaned and taken away.”

The Argonne school closed in 1991, and later burned down, so there’s also asbestos to deal with.   Gordon says redevelopment will make a big difference to the township of about 500.

“We’re small.  But there’s a lot of people that remember that park and it’s right in the middle of so-called downtown.  And getting it cleaned up will take care of a blighted area.” 

Forest County Economic Development Corporation will administer the nearly 30-thousand dollar grant.  Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the town is hemmed in by national and managed forest land. 

 “So they have very little places for them to grow.  And development of this site is going to creat some additional taxable opportunities for the municipality.”

Schuessler says the next step is a feasibility plan for what kinds of projects would work there.  He says the site should be completely redeveloped within three years.