Making Way for Business in Rock Island - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Making Way for Business in Rock Island


It's a school that has stood for 90 years. 

But for the last two - it's sat empty.

And on Monday the 13th, Rock Island City Council will vote on the future of the vacant Audubon School.

The city sold the building to Fareway grocery store in November. 

But the city Preservation Committee voted to make the school a landmark in April - trying to stop the building from being demolished. 

City leaders will hear from the school district and the preservation committee to over turn the landmark designation. 

People living in the neighborhood where the new store may be coming have mixed emotions.

Some can't wait for a new grocery store competing with nearby Hy-Vee. 

But others are more sentimental, want the building to stay standing.

"I went there for my grade school years," says Ryan Bradly, who still lives near the school. "I feel it's a landmark. It shouldn't be torn down."

The district wants to get rid of the building as soon as possible- as it continues to cost them money while it sites empty.

"This is the third year it has sat empty and the average cost for the first two years was $30,000," says Superintendent Dr. Mike Oberhaus. "We have to maintain a level of heat and we have to do repairs and maintain the grounds as well which costs money."

Oberhaus says that if for some reason the deal with Fareway falls through - they will be looking for another buyer - who may want to knock down the building as well. 

"We absolutely want to find a quality purchaser," says Oberhaus. "WE are not in the business of holding onto assets we no longer use."

If the Preservation vote doesn't hold up on Monday - the Rock Island City Manager says we could see Audubon demolished by early July.