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McKinley Elementary School For Sale?

Lakewood School Board to hear a proposal that would sell the shuttered school building.

Superintendent Jeff Patterson is expected to propose to the Lakewood School Board that the district sell the shuttered McKinley Elementary School.

Closed several years ago, the building costs the district about $40,000 to keep up — including utilities and general maintenance.

Built in 1918, McKinley Elementary School sits on a 2.77-acre parcel in an area desirable to developers. 

The property was assessed at $1.1 million in November. 

Patterson said that even if the district wanted to reopen the building, it’d cost between $380,000 to 1.2 million — perhaps more than the property is worth.

“We no longer need this property,” he added. “The cost of using this property is cost-prohibitive.”

When/if the property is sold, the money made from the sale must go into the district’s capital improvement fund. It couldn’t be used for the district’s day-to-day operations, Patterson said.

The school board will review the plan — as well as the proposal for a 3.9-mill operational levy — at its meeting on Tuesday. 

However, before the district breaks out the “for sale” sign to highest bidder, it must first offer the building and property to boarding schools or charter schools for fair market value.

“Right now, there are none listed,” Patterson said. "That doesn’t mean that someone can’t come in. There’s a process we have to go through.”

The value of the land and property at West Clifton Boulevard — with access from Detroit Avenue as well — was assessed at $1.1 million.

Compare that to the other recent assessment of shuttered schools in the district: Taft Elementary at $600,000 and Franklin Elementary at $110,000. 

Patterson said those schools could, in theory, be used as “swing space” — temporary facilities while the final phases of the Phase 3 construction plans are finished at other buildings.

“Residents have asked what we’re doing with the mothballed buildings,” Patterson said. “We’ve been analyzing those buildings.”

Phase 3 construction plans

Officials said that the district may know as soon as April whether Lakewood will be awarded funding to finish the $75 million Phase 3 construction project.

In this final phase, Roosevelt and Lincoln elementary schools would either be renovated or rebuilt and half of Lakewood High School would be rebuilt. 

The school district has waited since 2007 for the final word from the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission on nearly $47 million in funding to finish the project.  Last month, the district received a glimmer of hope that the project could move forward in 2013 in the form of a letter from the state agency.

At the latest, the district would be approved in 2014.

“When the facilities commission says they’re ready to give us $47 million, it’s going to be an extra two to three mills of costs,” board vice president Linda Beebe recently told Lakewood Patch. “We’ll put on a bond issue. That’s money that would come in over a period of time to repay bonds."

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