The former Youngwood High School is coming down, but not with a whimper. First it will enjoy 15 minutes of fame as a star of the reality television program "Salvage Dawgs."
The DIY Network show -- about an architectural salvage operation -- was looking for a site in Western Pennsylvania and contacted Westmoreland County, which referred them to Shop Demo Depot, said deconstruction manager Kim Giles. The Mount Pleasant-based recycling center is a program of the nonprofit human services organization Westmoreland Community Action.
The depot works with contractors, landlords, crafters and others to place materials where they may be reused rather than thrown away.
"The community gives to us and we're able to give back to the community," Ms. Giles said. "The main purpose is stopping this landfill madness."
In the next few months, Ms. Giles and other depot staff will assess contents of the two-story brick building, which was built in 1917 as a school and more recently has housed the Youngwood borough offices and library.
An agreement will then be drawn up to stipulate materials the television program might take away and to schedule a film date. Other objects with recyclable value will be sold at the Shop Demo Depot store.
Any contents of historic value will remain in the county, Ms. Giles said, and readers can help with that. The borough will recover a time capsule that was buried in the building during the 1999 Youngwood centennial. But there are rumors of a capsule having been buried in 1976 and another possibly in the 1950s. Anyone with information about those or other capsules, including location, may call 724-925-3660.
The borough has been in touch with the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland for help with the demolition after salvaging is complete. Executive director April Kopas said the authority has not yet become an active partner but agrees with the decision to remove the building, which is in a residential area next to the new borough building. It could become a safety concern if it remains empty, she said. The authority should know more about the demolition schedule by the end of the year.
Mary Thomas: mthomas @post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925.