Posts Tagged ‘education’

McGuffey Elementary School Saved From Destruction

West Main Intermediate School in Newark, Ohio.

Steve Anderson purchased the former West Main Intermediate School for $90,000 at auction saving it from destruction.

It’s not to difficult to point out the waste by Newark City Schools. I’ve seen it more than a few times, but most notably when they tore down an elementary school on Deo Drive recently fully renovated with a new roof, windows, parking lot, HVAC system, and more. A few excuses were given like asbestos in the building, someone could buy it and let it fall into a state of disrepair and hurt surrounding property values, and that the lot was worth more with the building removed. Many don’t believe any of the excuses. It would seem common sense that a large solid brick structure with a gymnasium would be valuable to someone. The fact that the lot still sits empty on Deo Drive after many years is evidence that an empty lot isn’t of use to anyone.

AutomaticI was pleased to discover from Cultural Offering that blogger and real estate investor Steve Anderson bought the former West Main Intermediate School from Newark City schools for $90,000. This is great news. I’m sure that Mr. Anderson has paid far, far more than most by supporting Newark City Schools with property taxes he’s paid on his numerous properties in their district. I’m hoping that he gets a great return on his investment. This also means one less empty lot or eyesore in the area. 

The idea of finding an investor should be automatic! Of course, there’s no way to skim from a simple sale to a private investor. There is no demo crew to hire at an inflated price, no disposal fees to pay, no way for salvage crews to scavenge numerous items that are like new from recent improvements. There is just a buyer with an interest in making a profit and creating a usable facility for business. Sure, there’s not a huge profit in the $90,000 sale, but over time, there could be far more collected from any business that takes place here.

I find it interesting that the city claims it needs office space and is contemplating spending a massive amount of money on a new office building. They’ve torn down more office space than they need in a few locations. Private businesses have no problem making use of these structures as we can see with the old Mound School that Jobes, Henderson and Associates and Layton Services uses for their office space. After many years of private ownership, the old school still looks better than most buildings surrounding it and they’ve been great neighbors for those living in the area.

Mound School converted to offices in Newark, Ohio.

The former Mound School in Newark, Ohio successfully transformed into office space.

So, it’s been proven before that these solid old structures still have value to the taxpayers. Most likely, it will be proven again. Granted, the timing may not be exactly right for the sale of these structures. As the federal government drags down the private funds by providing the grants required to build new schools, there is less purchasing power available from the private sector to get high bids for the old schools. Over time, the money does come back the community and the sentimental value of the buildings remains intact.

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COTC Graphic Arts Program Portfolio Show

May 30, 2012
5:00 pmto7:00 pm

The Central Ohio Technical College Graphic Arts program students will present a portfolio show at The Works, 50 S. 2cnd Street in Newark, Ohio. Light refreshments will be served. 

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Lincoln Middle School Demolished. Progress Or Waste?

Lincoln Middle School In Newark, Ohio Demolished.

Was the Lincoln Middle School demolition wasteful or necessary for progress.

I recently noticed an article about the demolition of Lincoln Middle School in Newark, Ohio and it brought back recent memories of every other elementary school demolished in Newark. The school that I remember well is North Elementary on Deo Drive. For years before it’s demolition, voters were asked for funds for new windows, heating/cooling system, a new parking lot and more. After so many very expensive improvements, the school was demolished. It was a total waste and the land remains vacant years later.

The article in the local paper stated that the school was being demolished with no sales to the public because that would be labor intensive. The article never touched on the feelings of many that the demolition was just a waste in general. See all of those windows on the front of the school? They’re not that old. There were many contractors that enjoyed many projects maintaining this building recently. It’s frequently the same old story of recent major renovations, only to be thrown into a scrap pile.

The school board’s defense is that they must maintain the schools for the children and that all spending to do so is justified. They never know if they’ll get the money for new schools, so they must make sure that parking lots are perfect, state of the art heating/cooling systems are installed, and that the old structures get the utmost attention. They need these expenditures to use as justification for the new schools. “Look at how much these old buildings are costing us!”, is the claim right after the updates.

Joe Taxpayer first sees these high expenditures to maintain the old buildings. Then, he sees the massive campaigns in the news and the signs. Quite often, the “do it for the children” signs are in contractor’s yards, public employee yards, and in the politicians yards. Basically everyone that profits from the system is all for any new levy that comes about. After a levy is passed, the old schools are razed, then another levy comes out demanding more money to operate the new schools. Oddly, when requesting a levy for new schools, they always forget to include enough money to actually operate them.

To ad insult to injury, the old schools are frequently torn down. The school district always has an excuse. “If sold, they could become an eyesore as a commercial property.”, “The buildings are just unsafe and need to be torn down.”, etc. They gloss over the fact that they’ve ruined a viable commercial property and any of the profits that could have resulted in it’s sale.

My question is, where in Newark, Ohio has an old school that did survive turn into a nuisance? The few that I know about have remained nice properties used as churches and office buildings. These businesses have improved their neighborhoods. With this in mind, I have to wonder if the officials simply don’t want the embarrassment when the buildings prove to have value when the schools claim the buildings are dangerous.

If you buy the school district’s claims, keep voting for new schools. I don’t agree and I’m looking for ways to make them more accountable. Question the school district’s claims boldly! Many of us work and/or live in buildings in much worse condition than Lincoln, yet they’re telling us that it the building is worthless? That would mean that many other buildings that pay large amounts of taxes to support new schools are even more worthless!

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Ohio State University Professor, John Sinko, Research Astronaut Retrieval System

Newark, Ohio OSU Professor John Sinko Space Engineer

Image via Wikipedia

John Sinko, a professor at Ohio State University in Newark, Ohio, had an idea to use a laser guided system and thursters to guide astronauts back to safety. He’s join working with others and his idea may become reality. Here’s the link to the story

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