Completed in 1959 and closed in 2009, it was sold by the Ironton City Schools Board of Education to the owner of Southern Ohio Salvage and Contracting, Jack Hager, for $125,000. On top of the $125k the school board received for the property they saved an additional $30,000 they would have had to contribute in demolition costs. Over the summer of ‘09 Whitwell was selected as one of seven schools in Ohio by the EPA as a testing site for potential health concerns from toxic air pollutants. The EPA tests mainly focused on two harmful chemicals, benzene and benzo(a)pyrene. The preliminary figures showed the level of key hazardous pollutants “well below levels of short term concern” the EPA stated. An estimated $50,000 of damage occurred in the spring of 2011 when persons unknown broke into the building and stole copper piping and metal. Most of the destruction was from water damage, “They cut into a main line into the bathroom and water ran into the bathroom for who knows how long, maybe three weeks,” Hager said. In 2012 The Ironton Zoning Appeals Board refused to approve developer Jack Hager’s plan to turn the former school into a 20-unit apartment complex for seniors and veterans. They cited that it was made perfectly clear what the building could be used for when it was put up for bid – no apartments. The above photos were taken toward the end of last summer and it seemed like very little had been done to the building in terms of renovation.