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Retired Cortez High School Almost Gone, Officials Say

Austin Cope

The walls of the old Montezuma-Cortez High School building are about to come down at last. School District Re-1 officials said in a release that the time-consuming asbestos abatement work is nearing an end after many months, opening more areas for demolition. Exterior walls could not come down earlier because they provided containment for the abatement work. Asbestos removal is expected to be finished by mid-summer, followed by final demolition and site restoration by late summer. Then the 14-acre property can be sold to the City of Cortez for a future park, the first on the city’s south side.

It remains to be seen, however, how long it will be before all internet mapping sites show the correct address of the new school. Some sites still list the old location, which has led several lecturers and musical performers visiting Cortez in recent years to comment that their first sight of what they believed to be their venue had been a horrifying one until they realized their mistake.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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