Fate of historic building on agenda

City commissioners will consider adopting a motion of determination that there are no other "feasible and prudent alternatives" to demolition of the Opera House historic structure at 811 Fort.

The motion is required by the State Historic Preservation Office, which recently responded to a request to move forward with demolition of the building.

As the property is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, approval of the demolition process was required by the SHPO.

"Our determination is that the demolition will 'encroach upon, damage or destroy' the historic property," Patrick Zollner, director, cultural resources division of the SHPO said in a letter to the city of Hays.

Demolition of the building now must be approved by the city of Hays in order to move forward. Kelli Hansen of the Liberty Group, owners of the building, requested the city of Hays make a determination on the matter.

"While a contributing building to the historic Chestnut Street District, it has been determined that the building poses a threat to the safety and well-being of those around the structure due to the instability of the foundation and loose stones," Hansen's letter to the commission read. "Based on the consideration of all relevant factors, there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the demolition of the building, and we ask that the commission allow for the demolition against the ruling of the SHPO in this matter."