The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 17, 2013

North Kingsville Elementary’s fate to be known next month

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Staff Writer

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — The future of the long-empty North Kingsville Elementary School should be known next month.

At a Wednesday night meeting of the Buckeye Local School District’s school board, Superintendent Joseph Spiccia said he would seek direction from members regarding the old school at their August meeting.

The building, located on Route 20 in the village, has been empty since the end of the 2010-2011 school year. The building was closed in a cost-cutting move, its students transferred to other schools in the district.

The school building is valued at $161,700 and the 7.7 acres of land it sits on is valued at $75,700, Spiccia said. Cost of demolishing the school and an adjoining playground would range between $255,000 and $355,000, he said. An asbestos evaluation would be required, Spiccia said.

An “interested party” has contacted the district about the building and has toured the property, said Spiccia, who did not identify the would-be buyer. The party expressed “mild” interest, Spiccia said.

The board may also:

• Provide the property to a start-up community school within the district or another public entity, such as the village of North Kingsville

• Offer the school and grounds for sale at auction. If all bids are rejected, the property can be sold privately.

• Exchange or lease the property

The district may also choose to retain some of the land and sell the rest, or demolish only a portion of the building, Spiccia said.

Meanwhile, the district is also able to sell the contents of the building, Spiccia said. Slate found in some blackboards, for example, may have some value, he said.

“There are some very valuable and interesting items,” Spiccia said.

Board member Mark Estock said he wants the property in the hands of someone who will care for it “long term.”

“We owe the taxpayers in the district and in (North Kingsville) a good, final resolution,” he said. “Do not let it hang.”

North Kingsville Elementary was built in 1915 and became part of Buckeye in 1960 when the district was formed. An addition was constructed in 1961.