Old Amboy school demolished in controlled burn




The old Amboy School went up in flames Saturday in a training exercise for more than two dozen volunteer firefighters.

The school, built in 1947, hadn’t housed students for four years. Local fire and police departments had been using the empty school for drills. Burning it lowered demolition costs for the Battle Ground school district.

The new Amboy Middle School, immediately to the east of the old one, started taking in students in 2008.

The heat from the controlled burn was especially intense north of the old building, at Highway 503 and Chelatchie Road. At times, it forced spectators across the street to move away. Firefighters splashed streams of water on the nearby Church of the Nazarene, but the heat still threw up some small blisters on the church’s paint.

Many of the spectators had attended or worked at the old school, said school district spokesman Gregg Herrington.

Unlike with the Jan. 21 burn of the old Central School in Battle Ground, crews did not hold drills while the Amboy school burned.

The future use of the site has not been determined, said Kevin Jolma, director of facilities and operations for the school district. Some of the bricks are going to the town of Yacolt; others will be given away at a future date.

The brick giveaway will be announced on the school district’s website, http://battlegroundps.org.

Jacques Von Lunen: 360-735-4515; http://twitter.com/col_schools; jacques.vonlunen@columbian.com.