By Jeff Fox

The old Anderson School is coming down. Demolition work has been under way this week.

“Depending on weather, they said maybe a week” for the work to get done, said City Council Member Eileen Weir, whose district covers southwest Independence and who has been pushing the owner to tear down the condemned building.

The building sits at 35th Street and Evanston, in a quiet neighborhood just north of U.S. 40 and east of Blue Ridge Cut-off. It once was run by the Kansas City School District but has been unused for about 15 years. A developer planned senior housing there, but those plans haven’t come together.

Problems with the empty building have been more pronounced in the last couple of years. Last year there was a fire, and the city has condemned the building as unsafe. It’s thought that homeless people have been drawn to it, and neighbors have complained of rats, high weeds and, at times, odors. The city has taken the owner to court and assessed fines.

The owner had asked Weir to sign a letter in support of tax credits to redevelop the site, but she told him to come through with tearing the building down first, she said.

The city could have torn down the building, but Weir has resisted that approach, saying it would have depleted the city’s scarce funds for that kind of work.

“I’m glad this is coming down at no cost to the taxpayers,” she said.