Xenia seeks tenants for old school
|By Sharahn D. Boykin, Dayton Daily News, Ohio|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Council discussion on uses for the property have been ongoing since
"We're at that juncture where we really need to take a more aggressive, a more serious approach, in trying to court some type of entity or organization for reuse," said
Merriman was unable to disclose additional details on potential tenants, but he noted the zoning allows for flexibility in the use of the old Simon Kenton school making it a good opportunity for an owner or renter.
"The city is not looking to profit per se off this opportunity since the building was essentially gifted to us," Merriman said. "So we, as a general approach to things, are willing to provide an opportunity for an entity or entities at a very reasonable rate so those entities could turn around and recapitalize dollars into the building."
In addition to a low price tag, Merriman noted a future tenant could benefit from the city's long-term plans to install a road that would connect
The property, which is valued at
"It fits the idea of whether it's a recreation complex or if there's another public or non-profit office that goes in there, it will be a good location for something like that given how central it is in the community," Forschner said.
Plans to find a tenant for the building were put in motion after the council considered renovating the former school to use it as a police station or justice center where law enforcement and the municipal court could be housed. Eventually, the city decided this option was too costly.
"We would have had to put a lot of extra money into the building to be able to bring it up to that code for use as a police station," Merriman said.
The city also considered moving administration departments into the facility, but discussions on the option stalled because of concerns about moving these offices out of the downtown area.
During discussions about municipal uses for the property, at least two council members have publicly stated they are in favor of demolishing the building. In an interview,
"I've toured the building," he said. "The building is not in very good condition. If we don't find somebody within the next six months, I'm totally OK with demolishing the building ... the longer that building sits there empty and unoccupied, the quicker that building deteriorates."
City council voted to extend a six-month moratorium on destroying the building for an additional six months on
The building on the property has value, Merriman said. An architect assessed the building which included evaluating the condition of mechanical systems and the roof.
"Are there some needs? Absolutely, but we feel like there's a variety of potential reuses for the building with fairly minimal cost upfront in terms of bringing the building up to code for whatever purpose the end user might have.
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