Crews have started tearing down Barnard elementary

TULSA - The demolition of Barnard Elementary has started and it's expected to last for more than a month.

Longtime midtown Tulsa resident, Lorri Brooke has a front row seat to the destruction, but she fondly remembers her former view.

"We obviously face the playground on this side and so that's what we got the most of, the kids playing," said Brooke.

She's says she sad the demolition was necessary.

"I thought because it was a historic neighborhood, they would try to salvage it, there are parts there that are obviously still standing and in good condition," said Brooke.

Brooke says she understands it has to happen.

"We got a letter, saying that, informing us what was going to be happening, that they were tearing it down because of health concerns." said Brooke.

Officials with Tulsa Public Schools say since the building is so old and because of the fire damage there is now exposed asbestos in the area.

"Our concern is to get it down, the safety issue, the trash issue, the whole bad picture issue," said Bob LaBass, the director of Bond Projects and Energy Management for Tulsa Public Schools

For now, there's no plan as to what will happen once the building is gone.
"We don't have anything on the boards at all, we are waiting for the insurance settlement to come through and see what happens at that time," said LaBass.
Uncertainty about the future concerns residents like Brooke more than the demolition.

"We don't want a super Walmart or something next door that would be just horrible, especially in this lovely historic neighborhood," said Brooke.

TPS will be saving a pallet of 300 bricks used in the construction to sell to interested Barnard fans.

They are also saving the entryway arch and the gate for the Tulsa Historical Society.

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