In an effort to save a 1909 schoolhouse that could be demolished under a land swap plan approved by the City Council and the Duarte Unified School District board, two local preservationists have presented the council with a petition signed by 42 residents. Bob Wight said he and Lino Paras are trying to persuade the council to select a developer who will be able to find a use for the building.
The schoolhouse at 1427 Buena Vista Ave. is on a prime corner of the 15-acre tract that the city plans to develop into an auto row. It serves as school district headquarters, but under the land swap plan a new headquarters would be located on Huntington Drive.
The freeway frontage on Central Avenue also includes Northview Middle School, which would be rebuilt next to Duarte High School.
City Manager Jess Duff said the city also wants to save the building and has asked developers to discuss how they would work the building into their plans.
Wight said the petition drive could be the beginning of a referendum campaign if the city selects a developer who plans to demolish the building.