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District clears out Howard building

I notice that the old Howard School is sitting abandoned and the windows are boarded up. What does the Medford School District plan to do with this crumbling facility?

— Larry S., Jacksonville

The boarded-up building you see on the campus at Howard Elementary on Mace Road in Medford was never used for classrooms, Larry, but served as a district maintenance shop in the past.

And though the building's windows were boarded up in the front for some time, the space still was used for district woodworking until just a few weeks ago, according to Medford School District Facilities Manager Mark Button.

Button said the windows were boarded up to deter vandals, but staff still entered the building through a side gate and worked out of the back.

"We board it up for security," Button said.

Last fall, the district completed a project centralizing all maintenance facilities to the annex at the old South Medford High School, and personnel moved the woodworking shop there in the past month, Button said.

The building is out of use now, but the school district is cleaning up the building. The district apparently no longer needs the building, so changes are in store.

"We're cleaning the building, and after that, the district will liquidate it," said Button.