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Published: 12/11/2007

Sale of portion of Commodore Bldg. OK d 5-0

The Perrysburg Board of Education last night voted unanimously to sell a portion of the district s Commodore Building property.

The 5-0 vote came after a parade of people opposed to the sale voiced their discontent with the building being subject to demolition.

Some had been involved with earlier, unsuccessful efforts to preserve the building, but in the end were unable to come up with a solution that did not cost the school district money.

Before the vote, board member Gretchen Downs told them that historic preservation was not the responsibility of the school district.

She noted that the city of Perrysburg declined opportunities to help preserve the building.

Manchester Properties, a Birmingham, Mich., developer, offered the district about $1.3 million for the western portion of the building and grounds along Louisiana Avenue. It will pay a $20,000 deposit that would be refunded if the city did not grant the needed change to commercial zoning within 180 days.

Manchester s plan calls for razing the structure and putting up a commercial development.

The Commodore, which occupies the block on Louisiana between East Indiana Avenue and East Fifth Street, has not been used as a school for five years.

The 125,700-square-foot Commodore is the oldest building in the district. Its original part dates to 1894. It has received several additions over the generations.

The board considered the sale proposal at its meeting Nov. 26, and last night held a special session in the Perrysburg Junior High School library.

At the November meeting, Superintendent Tom Hosler noted the district spent five years researching and discussing what to do with the property.

Groups came forward with plans, but none proved feasible, and no bids were submitted when the building was put up for auction.

In 2005, the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission found that bringing the building up to standards would cost $14.4 million.

Mr. Hosler, who recommended the board accept the purchase offer, said proceeds from the sale could be used to help meet the district s growing financial needs.

Letters recently were sent to district residents making the case for the sale.

The sale to Manchester Properties would leave behind portions of the building that house administrative offices as well as the gym, auditorium, and cafeteria where community and school activities are held.

The board will continue to evaluate the location of its administrative offices and the ultimate resolution of the remaining portions of the property.



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