The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 10, 2013

Ashtabula to pay for demolition of burned school building

ASHTABULA — City officials are waiting on results of an asbestos test before moving forward with demolition and clean up of West Avenue School — something they believe they have to do because the owner can not afford it.

The cause of the Aug. 18 fire at the vacant school, at the corner of West Avenue and West 47th Street, remains under investigation. Firefighters believe the risk of injury outweighs the knowledge they would gain by going into the charred, unstable remains of the brick building, fire investigators have said.

Now it appears the city will have to foot the bill to demolish and clean up the site because the owner, Spencer Wold Jr. of Ashtabula, doesn’t have the money, City Solicitor Michael Franklin said.

No utilities were hooked up to the school as it had not served any use for many years. Wold may have used it for storage. He could not be reached for comment.

Franklin said a tax foreclosure is pending, but the title remains in Wold’s name.

“As far as we know, Mr. Wold does not currently have the funds to demolish the remains of the building properly,” he said. “As it was vacant, with no utilities connected, it was almost certainly uninsured. It appears that the city will have to find a way to demolish it in the interests of public safety, and see if it can recover some of the cost at a later date.”

Officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency recently took samples of the ground brick and the standing brick, testing for asbestos, City Manager Jim Timonere said.

“We are hoping to (do the job) for $80,000 to $100,000,” he said, noting if the site does contain a great deal of asbestos, the cost will be much higher.

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open