Demolition of the former Lombard Middle School Gym or “Zephyrdome” began July 15th. The impressive-looking, yet uninhabitable, last-remaining-structure of the former Lombard College hasn’t been used in two decades. The building had not had water, heat or electricity running to it in over a decade. Deemed unsafe, the building’s only occupants have been a population of bats living in it the past 12-plus years. District 205 Superintendent John Asplund said that from a fiscal standpoint, if one wanted to preserve the building, more needed to be done starting in the 1960s. “(When) you start getting into the cost/benefit analysis, and how much money you plan to put into a structure versus the benefit you get from that structure,” Asplund said. “It’s a single-use structure. As huge as that building looked on the outside, if you got inside, you could see the only thing you could have in there is a gym that was really for basketball and volleyball. I can understand why the district made the decision to divest itself of use of that structure and move into the more modern gym that they constructed back then.” Since the district accepted $1 million in 2000 to build a new gym, the district would have to pay the state back that money plus interest just to inhabit the building – plus an additional $2-3 million to renovate it. Demolition is expected to be completed by mid-August. Once completed, the area will become a green space with solar panels to follow.
To hear the full interview with District 205 Superintendent John Asplund click here.