Thursday, Dec 08, 2016
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Sylvania Schools doubles its money on Mitchaw Road land sale

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Sylvania Schools had a nice gain on property it recently sold on Mitchaw Road in Sylvania Township.

The 40 acres of land, just north of Timberstone Junior High School, was sold for $600,000 to Olander Park System, twice the amount the district paid for the property in the 1990s. Proceeds from the land sale will be used to fund improvements planned to the athletic facilities at the district's two high schools.

The property was purchased by the district in 1995, along with about 35 acres used for Timberstone at 9000 Sylvania Ave. In all, 75 acres purchased at the time through bonds paid off by a tax levy.  It cost $569,104, or $7,573 per acre.

“At that time there was a need for an eighth elementary school,," said Sylvania Superintendent Brad Rieger. "However, over a period of years, the student population stabilized, and it was determined that seven elementary schools would suffice in 2007.” 

When the district looked for a site for the then-to-be-built Central Trail Elementary, the 40 acres proved unsuitable because in 2009 the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated it as a floodplain. That meant $8,000 worth of dirt would have to be added to bring the land up to street level and conditions determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would have to be followed if a building was constructed there, Mr. Rieger said.

As a result, the district looked elsewhere for property, and found it across Mitchaw. The district purchased 33 acres of land for $663,068 for Central Trail, at 4321 Mitchaw Rd.

Then, to dispose of the unused property north of Timberstone, the district began talks with Olander Park. The park is to pay $15,000 per acre, or $600,000. The purchase will be finalized in the next weeks, Mr. Rieger said.

The land will become part of Sylvan Prairie Park.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com.

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