Demolition of the former Rockport Elementary School began the week of Feb. 18 following several years of debate and attempts to secure reuse for the existing buildings.

The town of Rockport acquired the 7.6-acre property in 2009, including the 40,000-square-foot building, which was constructed in several stages beginning in 1954. The site consisted of 12 classrooms, two adult bathrooms, two children's bathrooms, a mail room, a janitor's closet and a boiler room that was accessible from outside, according to previously published articles.

Demolition had been scheduled to begin in April and finish by June 2013, according to previously published reports.

Rockport Public Works Director Steve Beveridge said Feb. 19 the town hopes to have demolition completed before the arrival of any precipitation, as rain or snowfall will add weight to the existing detritus and incur increased disposal costs.

Beveridge added the town hopes to find a use for the property located at the intersection of Route 1 and West Street in the near future.