Lou Robelli starts demolition of former Riverview Elementary School

WICHITA — When Lou Robelli purchased the former Riverview Elementary School near 53rd Street North and Seneca several years ago, his intent wasn’t to eventually tear it down. That’s what’s happening now, though.

“It hasn’t been a good investment,” Robelli says.

He’d hoped to convert the school into senior housing, but the building deteriorated due to vandalism.

Vandals stripped the building of its wiring and regularly broke windows, Robelli says.

“Refurbishing was impossible.”

Robelli says the “biggest mistake I made” was not taking the school district up on its offer of alarm services for a small monthly fee.

He says he may still build housing there or elsewhere, but he’s not sure yet.

“I’ve got other things on my plate right now,” says Robelli, who owns Air Capitol Delivery & Warehouse. “It’s really not a priority.”

So why raze the building now?

“Because the city’s on my butt.”