BISBEE, Ariz. (KGUN) — Old Bisbee High School was built back in 1914. Today, it still stands tall in the heart of town and is admired by residents and visitors.
"It's just such a beautiful facility. We want it to be preserved," said Christine McLachlan with the Cochise County Development Services Department.
Cochise County has owned and occupied the school since 1959. They plan to vacate it by the end of 2021 and will be looking for a buyer. McLachlan said the county wants the school to be renovated and redeveloped in a way that preserves its charm.
"We're going to do a historic preservation conservation easement along with the development agreement. It will remain the look of a historic building and have a use that serves the community," said McLachlan.
On Thursday, October 21, Cochise County plans to put in a rezoning request with the City of Bisbee, where the building is located. The school is currently under single family residential zoning. The county believes switching to commercial mixed use zoning would open exciting opportunities.
"It could be multi-family residential, instead of single family. It could be a commercial, a big range of commercial retail, restaurants or a bar. It could be a single one of those or mix them together," said McLachlan.
Bisbee's Mayor, Ken Budge, said he wants the community's input before decisions about the school are made. As a piece of Southern Arizona's history, Budge hopes the school will be taken care of.
"We're excited about possibilities for its use. I don't have any particular desire. I just want it to be saved and be something for the community," said Budge.
The rezoning request will be presented to Bisbee's mayor and city council on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
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