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Some in Silver Lake worried their memories will soon be torn down

Silver Lake will decide Wednesday if this classic gym built in 1930 should be demolished. WSBT 22 talked to town board and former basketball players about the decision // WSBT 22 photo

It's graduation season and thousands of students in our area will leave with lifelong memories. But people in Silver Lake are worried their memories will soon be torn down.

The town board is voting on whether to demolish Silver Lake Elementary School.

While it was most recently an elementary school, it at one point held all 12 grades.

When developers bought it 10 years ago, they planned to turn it into a charter school.

That didn't happen, so now it sits empty.

But some hope that will change.

"I played five years of basketball on this floor, so a lot of great memories,” said Miles Hoffman, Silver Lake alum. “It's kind of disheartening to see the way it looks right now."

The gym has seen better days. The building built in 1930 has sat empty for more than a decade, but it still holds a lot of memories.

"When we had the home basketball games here, my dad and I would sit way up in the balconies,” said Marlin Carr, Silver Lake alum. “This place would be jammed. Just screaming loud."

But the decaying ceiling and nails scattered throughout have the town board worried about safety.

The board votes Wednesday on whether to order demolition.

The owners say they need more time.

"You don't arrive at the ideal use for a classic structure in a week, a month or even a year sometimes,” said Bruce Munson, attorney for Silver Lake Partners LLC. “It's a long haul. It's a long-haul investment. It's a long-haul proposition."

Town Board president Chad Miner isn't hopeful.

"I think that after ten years, if it was something with a potential for something to go in there and for the building to be put back into productive use, I believe that would have already happened,” said Miner.

Others are hoping there is something worth saving.

"It makes me sad, and a lot of other people sad knowing what it could have been, and hopefully still could be."

The town board will vote on the order to demolish Wednesday at Town Hall at 9 a.m.

Board President Miner says he will enter the hearing with an open mind.

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