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 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM
WOW! I'm glad they made this choice. Are we guaranteed that they will NOT change the location if the $81 million bond issue passes?
Paul R August 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM
how much was paid for the site behind Jardines? is there ANY market for it to be sold?
Scott August 17, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Why in the world would the crematory at Jardine's be any part of the "factors"? I thought the city did a due diligence on this and there was not going to be any risks. It's already by the high school and our homes, why would this impact a middle school? Something tells me our School Board does not believe the Planning Commission. I suggest all Strongsville residents look at the crematory link (above) and read the comments.
Linda W August 17, 2012 at 03:54 PM
If approved by voters, I'm wondering exactly where the new school will be built on the Center property and how long it will take to build the new school. Will it be built behind the present Center building so the Center kids can go to school there while the new school is being built?
lyn August 17, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I think that pretty much tells everyone that the body burner DOES have an impact on those nearby, if a school takes that into consideration in determining whether or not to build there. So, are those buses still going to be garaged near it? And, just how will that body burner impact the value of that land now if the school tries to sell it. Who will want to buy it, especially if the school says they don't want to build there because of it.
lyn August 17, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Paul: On May 11, Debbie Palmer supplied this info for me: " got an answer on the cost of the land. It was about $719,000, which translates to $42,294 an acre. Mark Donnelly said land in Strongsville is typically now $55,000 to $60,000 an acre. It was purchased in 2005 and the deal finalized in early 2006." My concern is that they should have done some homework before buying this property. Are they now stuck with this? And NOW who will want it and who will want to build there by Jardine's body burner if the school doesn't even want to, seeing as it was one of the factors considered in where they would build. I'm sure the value just took a nosedive.
Pete August 17, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I'm guessing once school gets out they'd demolish Center and work on it that summer. They might also work on parts o well schools still in session. Could be wrong.
Pete August 17, 2012 at 09:14 PM
If they built by the high school we'd need new fields right by existing ones instead of sharing with the high school. It'd be pointless. Either way I'm voting to keep Center and redo it and I'm definitely voting against demolishing all the elementary schools. I'm voting to keep and renovate those as well.
lyn August 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM
As of now, I'm agreeing with you. And, I think that is probably how the votes will go. If my numbers are correct, this Phase 1, $81 million bond issue, is actually about $100/100,000 home. But, I think they should be able to pass it with the other bond issue expiring and this one will only adding on about $25 more to the $77 that a $100,000 home is currently paying. And, the Middle School really does need HELP. But, the Phase 2 is said to be about $64 million, and I don't think it will be easy to convince the people to go for this massive revamp and expenditure. But, they might go for extensive remodels and repairs.
Luke August 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Body Burner really...? You people are really blowing something way out of proportion. You have fear's of breathing in the mercury vapor's from the fillings in someone's teeth? How many of you enjoy a fish dinner of Lake Erie Walleye or Perch once a month or once a week? You ingest more mercury in that meal than you could breath in if you held your face over the exhaust stack from the crematorium. Everyone is wrapping two separate ass aches into one. I'm pretty sure Jardines will not have the Goodyear blimp flying over saying "No open for body burning" large area's of land are few and far between so I'm sure some builder will be happy to purchase the vacant land for another development, hell the build a couple a few years back right against the railroad tracks in Northwest end of town
Scott August 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM
If it's a non-issue, why was it a consideration for picking the new middle school site? That's my question.
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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