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Published: Wednesday, 1/13/2010

Academy will relocate near downtown Toledo, not in Old Orchard

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A school for at-risk youth has abandoned its plan to move to a former synagogue in Old Orchard and instead will relocate to a near-downtown building.

The Glass City Academy, which bills itself as a dropout prevention and recovery school for students in grades 11 and 12, will move to a new building at 1000 Monroe St. from its current location at 2275 Collingwood Blvd. The school plans to open at its new facility Jan. 19, spokesman Mark Tooman said.

The school had planned to move into a former synagogue at 2727 Kenwood Blvd. but encountered stiff opposition from neighborhood residents who objected to the decision by the Toledo Plan Commission to give Glass City a certificate of compliance based on a special-use permit granted to another school that had wanted to locate there. The neighbors argued that Glass City had not gone through the requisite permitting process.

Mr. Tooman said the neighborhood opposition was responsible for Glass City's change of plans.

"The opposition to our move into Old Orchard created a counterproductive atmosphere to what we were trying to accomplish, so we decided to locate elsewhere," he explained. "The opposition really became a distraction to our positive focus on providing quality academic programs to help our students achieve their goals of earning high school diplomas. We are very excited that this new facility will enable us to pursue our ambitious goals more aggressively."

After losing an appeal to the Toledo Board of Zoning Appeals, a group called the Old Orchard Citizens Action Association asked the Lucas County Common Pleas Court to overturn the decision to allow the school to use the special-use permit.

That lawsuit is pending. Tom Douglas, a member of the neighborhood group, said it wouldn't be dropped unless the plan commission declared the special-use permit to be abandoned.

"Then the issue is moot," he explained. "Our objective was not to keep somebody out of there. Our objective was the process."

Glass City will lease its new building, which formerly housed the Maritime Academy of Toledo. Mr. Tooman said it is a better facility for Glass City than the former synagogue because it already is configured with classrooms.

Contact Carl Ryan at:

carlryan@theblade

or 419-724-6050.



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