Knox residents may have noticed a construction team working on the old movie theater building on Main Street, but don’t worry – that building isn’t being torn down yet.
Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charles Weaver told WKVI that a well-known Kokomo company has expressed interest in removing salvageable items from within the building at 4 N. Main Street, which was once home to a movie theater as well as the SCEDF office.
Weaver explained that after a series of structural engineering studies, the board determined that it would cost several hundred thousand dollars to save the old building, and even then, the building would still not have that much value. On top of that, the studies determined that the buildings were becoming unsafe because of fire damage from years ago.
Since then, a committee was formed and soon determined that because there was little that could be done to save the building, demolition would be the only solution. SCEDF began to secure funds toward demolishing the building, and has partnered with the city of Knox to apply for a grant through OCRA. Yesterday, the board received notice that the grant has been awarded.
Now, however, before the building is demolished, Weaver said Habitat for Humanity has gone through the building and salvaged any items that they may be able to use for structures. A Kokomo company has also come to the building to acquire salvageable materials, including the old tin ceiling in what was once the SCEDF office, as well as treatments around the exterior windows on the upper floor.
Weaver said bidding will soon be done toward the end of this month from contractors who are willing to demolish the building.