TIPP CITY — Last Tuesday, residents and city and school officials met to discuss the future of the Broadway Elementary School site.
Superintendent Gretta Kumpf told the group that the district wants the property to remain an asset to the community after it is no longer used to house Broadway Elementary School.
She added that the district plans to host more meetings “about what becomes of the Broadway site as we begin looking toward construction and expansion.” The district is planning to work with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to construct new academic space for grades pre-kindergarten through five and put a bond issue on the ballot in 2019. The district is set to receive 35 percent matching funds from the state.
If the bond issue passes and the construction project is completed, Broadway Elementary School will no longer be used and the state will partially fund its demolition.
“We know some of the knowns and unknowns, but actually how we would dispose of the property, whether we would parcel it up, those kinds things haven’t really been discussed yet,” school board member Sam Spano said. He added that the board hopes to gather ideas from community meetings.
Kumpf outlined the district’s responsibilities regarding the 6 acre lot, noting that the district is legally required to offer the land to any community or STEM schools that exist in the district’s territory. There currently are none, so the district must put the property up for public auction. The district has to give 30 days public notice of the auction and can accept or reject a bid. If a bid is rejected, the district can pursue a private sale or hold another auction.
She said that there is currently no exact timeline for when the property will be available for another use. If a bond issue is passed in May, it could take about two and a half years to build the new facilities. Kumpf added that a fair price for the property has not yet been determined, nor is it known who might be interested in buying the property.
The property is currently zone for two-family residential use, which means it can be used for single family dwellings, passive parks and open space, and agriculture. With approval from the Planning Board, it could also be used for residential service homes, two-family dwellings, community centers, bed and breakfasts, active parks and playgrounds, places of worship, government facilities, cemeteries, and nursery schools or daycare.
Kumpf asked attendees to form groups and talk about what they would and would not like to see happen to the property.
Suggestions for its use included playgrounds and athletic fields, the preservation of the gym, and pavilion or park. Several attendees noted that the school’s playgrounds are the only park in the area and are important to residents in the neighborhood.
Groups agreed that they were not in favor rental properties or subsidized housing, and leaving the building or property vacant. One group said they were “uncomfortable with new homes” because they might not match the character of the neighborhood.
The district is planning more community meetings to discuss its plans for school construction on Jan. 15, Feb. 19, March 12, and April 9. All meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. at L.T. Ball Intermediate School and will take about an hour.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.