District Eyes Sale, Removal of Historic Carus School Building

The Canby School Board on Monday voted to list the historic Carus School white building for sale in the hopes of removing or, if necessary, demolishing the structure to rework the property’s often cramped and challenging parking area.

Pursuant to the state’s strict rules for designated historical buildings, the district must list the property for sale for at least 90 days.

The asking price will be $1, but interested buyers will be required to remove and relocate the structure at their own expense within the 90-day timeframe. No physical land will be included in the sale.

Photos courtesy the Canby School District.

If the listing has failed to attract any interest after three months, the district may move forward with demolition.

District Communications Director Kristen Wohlers said the former school building has “decayed to the point that it is no longer suitable for use by students and staff” and that for-sale signs will go up later this month.

The project is part of planned work at the Carus Elementary School campus made possible through the $75 million capital improvement bond the district’s voters approved in May 2020.

Photos courtesy the Canby School District.

“Removal of the building will help pave the way for the completion of bond work at Carus, including improved safety at the main entrance, better traffic flow and additional parking,” Wohlers explained. “We are very excited about the potential benefits for the Carus community.”

Carus Principal Sam Thompson also shared the development in a newsletter this week, saying the building’s decay has become a safety issue and that its removal or demolition will allow the district to add more parking to the school’s cramped footprint.

“The removal of the building is an important step toward completing construction work funded by the bond that will ultimately allow us to better serve students and families, including improving the safety of our main entrance and helping reduce traffic congestion during student drop-off and pick-up,” Thompson wrote. “We are very excited about the potential benefits for the Carus community!”

Photos courtesy the Canby School District.

Located at 14412 South Carus Road, the Craftsman-style bungalow was built circa 1926 and has served the Carus area as a schoolhouse, meeting hall, community center and Sunday school for the Methodist Church over the decades. It is two stories tall and contains approximately 4,700 square feet.

It was one of only two schools in the Oregon City/Beavercreek area that dates to the Motor Age (1914 to 1940) and was noted for the high quality of its design and construction — which was unusual for non-residential properties built in that period.

The white building is on the list of designated historical sites for both the state and Clackamas County.

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