Public tours offered before demolition of Lakota’s old Union School


WHAT: A final public tour of Lakota's Union Elementary

WHEN: 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 12

WHERE: Former Union Elementary, 8735 Cincinnati Dayton Road


A last goodbye to one of Lakota's iconic school buildings has been arranged.

A local historical society and school district officials will offer a final public tour on Aug. 12 of the former Union Elementary School in Olde West Chester.

The building, which is being prepared for demolition, will be razed and replaced by a Boys & Girls Club for West Chester and Liberty townships.

The school stands on nine acres at 8735 Cincinnati Dayton Road and served for decades as Lakota’s only building back when the area was called Union Twp.

Lakota officials say their partnership with the Union Township Historical Society to set up a final open house is part of honoring Union Elementary’s history of nearly a century of serving the community.

“We are excited about the future of this space and how it will serve the youth in our community. But we also understand that the former school carries a lot of significance for those who passed through its doors over the years,” said Lakota Schools spokeswoman Lauren Boettcher.

“The historical society has been a great partner in making this open house opportunity possible and we are glad to have them as partners to honor the building in a way the whole community can appreciate,” Boettcher said.

Historical society officials released a statement announcing the Aug. 12 tour and stated: “For those who wish to visit the school site before deconstruction begins, the group has organized an informal community walk-through any time from 3 to 6 p.m.”

For safety reason, some parts of the building will be closed to the public, according to the historical society.

“Mobility is limited due to the building’s deteriorating state and recent work completed to prepare the site for demolition. Only adults (18 years and older) are permitted to be on site,” historical society officials said via a press release.

Volunteers from the historical society will be on site to answer questions about the building’s history and to help guide tours.

Private fund raising by Boys & Girls Club officials — including a recent $300,000 state grant — has raised more than $5.5 million toward the club's goal of $9 million for the new facility scheduled to open in early 2018.

Lakota officials signed a 2014 collaborative agreement with youth club officials for a long-term, land lease citing prohibitive costs of maintaining the empty school.

Demolition is scheduled to begin later this month following the removal of asbestos from the building, according to Lakota officials. Construction of the Boys & Girls Club will start soon after the building is demolished.

For more information about the tour, contact Union Township Historical Society President Mary Jo Bicknell at

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