Created on Monday, 22 April 2013 Written by MANDY LOEHR
Two area non-profit organizations will potentially inhabit two former Bellefontaine City Schools’ elementary buildings in the near future as a result of action taken during Monday evening’s Bellefontaine Board of Education meeting.
Board members approved the transfer of the Northeastern Elementary School property at 600 E. Brown Ave., to Reality Ministries that runs the Reality Outreach Church at 874 E. Sandusky Ave.
Similar action was taken for Southeastern Elementary School at 613 Hamilton St., as members approved a transfer of the property to Union Station of Logan County, whose current mailing address is 400 Ludlow Road.
Organizers with Union Station hope to open a community center at the former school to serve the needs of local families and those struggling with poverty, according to an article in Thursday's Examiner. Local religious leaders and social service organizations have partnered together for the project and have formed the Logan County Ministry Foundation.
No money will exchange hands during the two property transfers, except for $1 to be paid to the school district by the non-profit groups as a formality, said Bill Badenhop, district business manager.
Both Northeastern and Southeastern will no longer be used by the district next school year when the new elementary school and middle school open along Ludlow Road in conjunction with the Ohio School Facilities Commission project.
Two other BCS properties, Western Intermediate and Pine Avenue Elementary, also will not be utilized after the new schools open. Western has been sold to the Madison-Champaign County Educational Service Center for the future location of the Mac-A-Cheek Learning Center, while bids for the demolition of Pine Avenue are being sought.
Relating to the most recent property transfers, President Joan Haushalter noted the cost savings the district will realize in not having to spend building project funds to demolish the two structures.
As part of the agreement in the quit-claim deeds issued for Northeastern and Southeastern, the district will have access to four classrooms in each building during the next 30 years, Superintendent Beth Harman said.
“We’ll have access to these classrooms rent-free and utility-free, and we’ll also have access to the common areas of each building and the playgrounds,” she said. “This gives up different options, such as the possibility of having preschool classes there in the future.”
“We looked at the prices of renting classroom space like this, and the prices are very high,” Mr. Badenhop said. “The option to have this free classroom space available is a definite plus.”
In other OSFC project matters, the board approved the construction documents for improvements to the Bellefontaine Middle School parking lot, and also approved a motion to seek bids for this construction project to be completed during the summer through Local Fund Initiative monies with the 2009 bond issue.
The project will include the installation of a bus parking lot on the north side of the school in the area of the current tennis courts. This initiative will help to alleviate traffic congestion in the area by having students who ride the bus to enter and exit the north end of the school, while pupils who walk or are picked up will utilize the other end of the building, Mr. Badenhop explained.
For more Bellefontiane BOE news, see Tuesday's Examiner.