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School Board Considers Sale of McKinley Elementary

The district is looking to put the shuttered building up for sale. But charter schools and boarding schools would have the first opportunity to buy it.

The Lakewood School Board considered a proposal Tuesday night that would sell the shuttered McKinley Elementary School. 

However, the board decided to discuss the idea further.

Superintendent Jeff Patterson, who proposed the plan, told Lakewood Patch 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.

Closed several years ago, the 56,000-square-foot 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. 

“What could we possibly use that building for?” asked board president Ed Favre.

“There aren't too many options,” answered Patterson, pointing out that the building is no longer needed. “I know board's heard me before, I don't think we want be landlords.”

The board decided to give the measure a second reading at its Feb. 4 meeting, in an effort to gain some public feedback.

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.

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, per the Ohio Revised Code.

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.”

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