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Published: Wednesday, 1/6/2010

Sylvania City Schools: Central office on way to new quarters


The ticking of clocks at the Sylvania City School's Burnham Building soon may echo in the doomed building's halls.

Central-office administrators and staff are boxing their belongings in preparation for a move to new quarters on Holland-Sylvania Road that will kick into gear Jan. 9 when a Toledo moving company starts moving furniture and equipment.

District officials expect ABC Movers to need two weekends to finish the task of clearing out of the one-time high school, which is to be torn down later this winter to make way for a new Maplewood Elementary School.

"We've told everyone to take their personal stuff home, and pack their offices up as much as they can," Scott Nelson, the district's assistant superintendent, said last week, adding that district officials won't mind if nothing significant occurs in the Sylvania schools during the "transition week" that starts Jan. 11.

"If we could have done it all in one weekend, we would have," Mr. Nelson said.

As soon as everyone is out of the building, he said, Total Environmental Services LLC of Toledo, will start work on a $35,138 contract to remove asbestos and otherwise prepare the Burnham for demolition. The demolition contract itself will be packaged with the construction contract for the new grade school, he said.

Burnham opened in 1927 and graduated its last class in 1960, after which students were moved over to the new Sylvania High School on Silica Drive - today's Sylvania Northview. Since then, the old school has housed the superintendent and other top district administrators, plus certain special-education facilities and the offices of two community-service groups, the Sylvania Community Action Team and Sylvania Community Services.

All told, 74 people will be moving to an office building at 4747 North Holland-Sylvania Rd. that the school district bought last year. The building cost $799,000, and Mr. Nelson said it cost about that much again to renovate it for the district's offices.

By last week, Mr. Nelson said, the renovation work was complete except for "punch list" items - minor clean-ups and corrections at the end of a contract.

A World War II honor roll that once occupied a prominent spot near the building's auditorium has been moved and remounted inside the Sylvania Administration Building a short distance away.

A dozen architectural highlights are to be preserved during the demolition so they can be used in landscaping the new Maplewood, which is scheduled to open for the 2011-2012 school year. Then the existing Maplewood will be torn down, with its site to be converted into a parking lot and landscaped grounds for the new one.

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