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Victorville Set to Buy Site of Rogers Museum

The city will also pay for demolition of the building off Interstate 15 as part of a plan for the area's economic redevelopment.

May 08, 2003|From Associated Press

It's happy trails for the old Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum building in Victorville.

The City Council this week voted to buy the land, pay to demolish the empty building and build a road through the landmark Mojave Desert site off Interstate 15. The museum was shut down in March and relocated to Branson, Mo., where it is scheduled to reopen at the end of this month.

The city will pay $883,000 for the property, using money from bond sales. The city also decided to pay the $100,000 cost to demolish the building that once housed items collected by Rogers and Evans throughout their lives.

Civic Drive now wraps around the structure like a lasso. The city plans to straighten the road at a cost of $1.7 million.

The move could help economic development at the prime 6-acre site, perhaps in the form of a row of auto dealers, said Keith Metzler, city deputy director of redevelopment.

Metzler expects the property to enter escrow Monday and the road to be built by September.

Though the city will pay for the demolition, the Rogers family will have to find the contractors to destroy the building.

"A lot of people have a lot of emotional attachment to the building. We thought it would be a more sensitive idea if the family brought it down themselves," Councilman Mike Rothschild said.

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