Habitat for Humanity cashes in on Audubon demolition

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A Rock Island school is just weeks away from demolition, but parts of Audubon will live on. Some of it's unique features could end up in your living room.

It's been anything but slow at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, in Davenport for the last couple of days and it's all because of some new donations.

Across the river in Rock island, Audubon School will soon face demolition and what's sad news for community members is actually a blessing in disguise for others.

"To see an old building come down which is very difficult and emotional thing for many people," said Habitat's volunteer coordinator Gail Yingling.

Habitat for Humanity was able to go inside the school and harvest anything they wanted from bathroom doors to auditorium seats. They took whatever items they could and put them up for sale.

Yingling said people have been calling all over the country to try and get their hands on a piece of the school's history and their sales are proof.

"Our sales were easily tripled in a normal day and that's probably being conservative," said Yingling.

The money made at the store goes to help Habitat build homes for families in need, while at the same time keeping the memory of Audubon School alive.

"For a pretty small investment they can get a little bit of history," said Yingling.

The district's spokeswoman says contractor Joe Lemon Jr's broker gave the district a signed purchases agreement for the property and building for $100,000 but the school board is standing by their decision and the school will be demolished.


  • Mike

    Mr Lemon originally offered the same amount as Fareway($475k). I believe his original offer was only made to ruin the fareway deal. Now that he and other neighbors to the property chased off fareway he comes back with an offer that just over 20% of his original offer. How can the school board trust that this man will keep his word? Furthermore why would they WANT to do business with him?

    • Steve Klien

      The city was offering Fareway nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in tax incentives; they were unwilling to offer the Lemons anything at all. Moreover, the estimated asking price of the building-free property minus the cost of demolition minus the broker’s 40$ commission minus the costs incurred to acquire and demolish the house on the south corner of the property (necessary to develop as they wish) minus related costs to incentivize the new buyers = there will honestly be close to *zero profit* for the school district, and no property tax revenue coming in until the property is eventually sold… and who knows how long that will take. The Lemons’ previously successful commercial restorations + the bird in the hand being worth more than two in the bush seems plenty reason to do business with them. This was a decision made out of spite and delusion, not out of sound business sense.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.