The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 23, 2013

Fate of North Kingsville Elementary may be known in July

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

NORTH KINGSVILLE — Members of the Buckeye Local Schools’ Board of Education could decide the future of the now-vacant North Kingsville Elementary School by mid-summer, Superintendent Joseph Spiccia said Wednesday.

“We’ve asked the board to make a decision by July,” he said.

The school, which sits on Route 20, closed at the end of the 2010-2011 school year in a cost-cutting move. Many of its students now attend Kingsville Elementary School.

At a board meeting this week, options were laid out dealing with the property for members’ consideration, Spiccia said. “We’ll discuss (the options) in June, he said.

Spiccia said the choices include: Sell the building and property to an interested party, sell the holdings at auction, demolish the school and keep the land or flatten the building and sell the vacant land.

Whatever option is selected, the follow-up would be quick, Spiccia said. “If a decision is made in July, final (action) could occur in November or December,” he said.

The district will not act in a way that would be harmful to the neighbors or the village, Spiccia said.

“If someone’s interest they have to (demonstrate) a credible use,” he said. “That’s important to us from a community perspective.”

Few inquiries have been received from the public on the property, Spiccia said. Last year, village government briefly discussed sharing the annex portion of the school before council indicated the cost the arrangement would be prohibitive.

Portions of the school are nearly a century old. The annex was built in 1961, officials have said. Cost of demolishing the old school could range between $250,000 and $350,000, based on quotes from contractors, Spiccia said.

The board and district will not act rashly regarding the property’s future, Spiccia said.

“The board will take it under advisement,” he said. “We want to make a good decision, not a fast decision. We hope to make that decision in July.”