The Strongsville school district wants to rezone a vacant 17-acre parcel off Pearl Road, adjacent to the Strongsville High School property, for potential future development.
The parcel, which was initially eyed as the site of a new middle school, is currently zoned R-1 residential. The district is seeking to rezone it for Public Facilities use.
Business Manager Mark Donnelly said there currently no plans to develop the land, but said it makes sense get the rezoning out of the way now.
"We own it. We can't do anything with it unless it's rezoned, even though there are no plans for it now," Donnelly said.
The district will ask Strongsville City Council to authorize the rezoning, but any rezoning from residential to another classification must be approved by voters, both citywide and in the ward.
Donnelly said he hopes to have the issue on the ballot next May.
The property is directly behind Jardine Funeral Home. It was designated as the site of a proposed new middle school, but was ultimately found to be too small to house the building and athletic fields.
The new school would be built -- if voters approve Issue 116, an $81 million bond issue, on Nov. 6 -- at the site of the existing Center Middle School.
Donnelly said school officials have not yet talked about what the vacant land might be used for, or whether it will some day be sold, but said rezoning it now will put the district in a better position to act when the time comes.
"Once the rezoning is done, it's ready," he said. "We just don't want to drop the ball and procrastinate on it."
Donnelly said there are plenty of future uses for the property -- anything from athletic fields to new school board office to an elementary school. But he said even if the district eventually sells it, it will be more marketable zoned for Public Faclities because a switch from that classification does not require a vote of the people.