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Published: Thursday, 2/7/2002

Board targets 4 parcels on King for sale


Four pieces of property totaling less than six acres on King Road south of Sylvania Avenue will be sold by the Sylvania Board of Education, board members decided at their most recent meeting.

The property is a portion of the 20 acres purchased by the board last year for a total of $1.2 million. State law requires that property deemed to be excess must be sold at auction.

Pam Haynam, a board member, voted against the sale citing a study in 1998 which said there should be no real estate transactions until the school system developed a real estate master plan.

She said no master plan has been developed and added that there may be a need for construction at Southview High School, which is adjacent to and east of the property to be auctioned.

By selling the acreage now, she said, there may be pressure put on a future board to expand construction into the Oak Savannah, a piece of land which conservationists say has important biological land botanical assets.

The 11-acre savannah is south of the high school.

She said the sale of land will lead to commercial development that will increase traffic in the area. She said she was concerned about safety with the mixture of school buses, young drivers, and increased traffic.

Dave Spiess, a member of the board, said he reluctantly supports the sale, but said the property in the area of the high school could be utilized by the district for athletic practice fields.

Mary Himmelein, who voted for the sale, noted that if the consultant's report had been followed, the district would not have purchased the land in the first place. She said it was financially necessary to try to sell the property.

Sale of the property passed by a vote of 4-1.

Others voting in favor of the sale were Mark Luetke and George Gernot.

Brad Peebles, manager of the Sylvania Township office of zoning and development, said the school property is zoned for residential use.

He added that the township's master plan calls for it to become a commercial or professional office area.

Arlene Wilson, chief financial officer for the school district, told board members that there would be a stipulation in the eventual auction agreement which will allow the board to refuse to sell the property if it is determined that the sale price is inadequate.

The property was purchased primarily for the construction of a bus garage for the district's 101 buses. The land will also be used for a technology center and a storage facility.

The bus garage at Brint and McCord roads was constructed in the early 1960s, when the district had about 35 buses. It is on about four acres and bus drivers are forced to find parking spaces away from the garage when they report to work.

There is no place large enough there for drivers and staff to assemble for meetings.

Once the bus operation is moved, the board will likely sell the property at Brint and McCord.

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