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New Middle School Site Picked

District will build at Center if bond issue passes

If a new middle school is built, it will be at the site of the existing .       

A task force studying school facilities recommended Thursday night that the district use that location instead of a 17-acre district-owned site next to , behind .

"I'm excited," said Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone, a member of the task force who launched the idea of building a new middle school earlier this year. "In the fall of 2015, we will have clean, safe new buildings that have improved technology."

The construction depends on voter approval of an  at the polls Nov. 6.

Carbone said the task force, with help from architects from GDP Group, considered traffic, safety, wetlands and zoning issues.

He said the members also factored in the proximity of the 17-acre site to the soon-to-be-built Market District store and .

That parcel also needed to be rezoned and included federally protected wetlands.

School board members voted 5-0 to accept the recommendation.

Board member Jennifer Sinisgalli said she was grateful the task force "made the decision based on facts."

And board member Carl Naso said building the new school would be a "win-win" for the district, reminding his colleagues that he and Carbone originally suggested the new middle school as a way to save operating money for the district by combining the two middle schools into one.

Carbone said the bond issue would cost the average homeowner "less than $2.10 a month extra," and "will save millions as we move forward."

"I believe together, we can make it happen," Carbone said. "We're in for a fight. But you know what? It's good to fight the good fight."

The $81 million bond issue would also pay for significant improvements at the high school -- including technology upgrades -- and for safety repairs at the elementary schools. It would also pay to demolish the existing Center,  and Allen school buildings.

The district's long-range plan is to follow up with another bond issue in a few years to tackle other problems at the elementary schools, possibly building three new schools, renovating  and and demolishing the rest.

lyn August 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Now that Jardines has probably ruined the property values of any land near them, and that land the school owns will go cheap, I'm sure some local family is licking their chops at the thought of picking this property up from the schools (taxpayers/us) at a steal. As I said elsewhere: So, our schools DO NOT want to build there. Just who will want that land? At least that land can probably be bought at bargain basement prices. I'm sure some local family will scoop up that property at a great price from the schools. Then we'll see them try and pass it off for millions to some outside developer - especially since it is in a prime area, if it can get rezoned, if that's needed. What home buyer would want to build on land that a school doesn't want to build on - I would think the realtor would have to divulge that info.
lyn August 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I wonder what the true value of this 17 acres would be. Some of the property across from Petitti's that the Catan family had acquired over the years they are now trying to sell - 55 acres, asking $6.1 mil, as per: http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/17010213/Pearl-Road-and-Drake-Road-Strongsville-OH/ That's $110,909/acre. Catan's property does have more Pearl Rd frontage than the school board owns, but the school's land is more prime, I would think.
lyn August 18, 2012 at 02:29 PM
But, if you see my comment below, Catan's is asking $110,909/acre for the land they are selling further down Pearl where the city will be widening the road.
lyn August 18, 2012 at 03:21 PM
This might be useful to help determine the land value since Jardine's is next to the schools land. This info is per the county records: Jardine's owns 4.2 acres, with a 2011 market value of $744,100 for just the LAND. So, that is $177,000/acre.
joe d August 19, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Why doesn't Jardine's ask for some rezoning, put a large addition on their house, and set up the crematorium there if they are so confident there will be no health issues?

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