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Western Publishing Building (copy)

The former Western Publishing building, 5945 Erie St., has been the site of vandalism and trespassing for several years. The Village of Caledonia is taking steps to raze the building.

CALEDONIA — Village Administrator Tom Christensen said that he expects a long legal battle regarding the raze order issued in July against the Western Publishing building, 5945 Erie St., that has been vacant for more than a decade.

“I don’t expect a quick resolution to this at all,” Christensen said. “We will probably, no matter what (the owners’) response is, end up in court over this.”

The Village Board and many community members, including Theresie Bode, who lives near the building, wants to see the structure demolished.

Bode was concerned about “vagrants” breaking into the building, and the neighboring former Olympia Brown Elementary School.

An open records request filed by the building’s neighbors found that police had been called to the property 19 times in 2016.

After the sale of the former Olympia Brown Elementary School building, 5915 Erie St., fell through this spring, Racine Unified School District is temporarily using the structure for storage.

But the district is also looking to take another crack at selling the facility.

Unified is utilizing the building at the moment to store items during the summer break as it moves programming from Bull Fine Arts School, 815 Dekoven Ave., to Gilmore Fine Arts School, 2330 Northwestern Ave.; and the programming at Walden III, 1012 Center St., to McKinley Middle School, 2340 Mohr Ave.

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Assistant Managing Editor

Pete Wicklund is the local editor for The Journal Times.

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