Cape Girardeau's oldest school building soon won't be standing anymore. A demolition permit was issued Thursday for the old Jefferson Elementary School. The two-story brick and stone building has occupied the corner of Jefferson and Ellis streets since 1904. The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will be torn down using labor and equipment donated to its current owner, Prodigy Leadership Academy. Prodigy, a private school that operates out of Red Star Baptist Church, took ownership of the building in November 2011 and hoped to restore it, but evaluations by structural engineers found it wasn't salvageable. The building was condemned during the summer of 2011 and ordered by city inspectors to be either fully repaired or demolished after it was deemed too dangerous to remain standing. Some materials from the 108-year-old school building -- brick and limestone will be kept for use in a structure for Prodigy Leadership Academy. Plans and a location for a possible building have not been determined. Three local companies -- Landgraf & Sons, Kevin Williams Excavating and Fabick, a Caterpillar sales and rental company -- are donating labor and equipment to take down the building. Work should take about one week to complete.
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