Engineering firm eyes old Midland school

       After a year of vacancy, the original Midland School building may get new life.
       Terra Nova Engineering, currently located downtown on Wahsatch Avenue, has applied to the city for a zone change from single-family residential to office residential for the two-story, 105-year-old structure at 815 S. 25th St.
       “I want to move my office into the building, and I hope to restore it,” explained Terra Nova owner Luanne Rubey in a phone interview this week. “I think it's a nice setting for an engineering company. It's a beautiful place.”
       She has a contract to purchase the 1.37-acre property, located across the street from Bott Park.
       Up to 1956, the building had housed Midland Elementary. Our Lady of the Rockies was the most recent user, operating a private Christian school at the location from 1983 to March 2006.
       Rubey said she and her 11 employees would only occupy the ground floor; there are no plans for expansion, although the space “leaves possible room for the future.”
       She added that the chief reasons for the relocation are the business having outgrown the Wahsatch office and the school site's proximity to the Gold Hill Mesa development, for which her firm is doing civil engineering work.
       Rubey said she has a personal interest in older buildings. She wants to keep both the interior and the exterior unchanged, focusing mainly on woodwork restoration. The only immediate upgrade that she anticipates is to the bathrooms.
       “I looked at other properties,” she said. “This is the most special thing I saw. It's a diamond in the rough.”
       The public is welcome to comment on the Terra Nova proposal to City Planning through Friday, April 27. Planner James Mayerl can be reached at 385-5360. The zone change will ultimately need approval from Planning Commission and City Council.

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