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School, city considering land swap to make room for new high school

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published: February 20, 2013 12:00 AM
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Streetsboro -- In 2004, when the last issue for a new high school was on the ballot in Streetsboro, the bond issue failed at the ballot because the site for the school was not on or near the school campus along Annalane Drive, according to many school leaders over the years.

In his State of the City speech Feb. 13 at the Rusty Nail Restaurant, Mayor Glenn Broska told about 75 attendees at the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon that the city and Streetsboro Board of Education and administration are negotiating a land swap of a 62 acre to 65 acre portion of two city-owned parcels off Route 303 for 121 acres of school owned land on Route 14 across from Valleybrook Road.

"It's their thought that it's a great idea," said Broska following the speech. "If we can help them to facilitate that, that's what we're going to do. It does give the city more opportunity to expand their parks."

Streetsboro City Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Calfee said he hopes land swap negotiations with the city administration are concluded "as fast as possible."

"Our hope is that discussions would be finalized in the next couple of months," he said.

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Broska said he's hoping discussions can conclude in about 90 days.

Calfee said in the 2012 School Strategic Plan residents expressed a desire to have any additional schools located at the school campus. Ninety percent of those giving input expressed a desire to have the high school at the existing campus.

Broska said the plan, as it stands today, is to do a direct land swap with the schools.

"It's going to be a land swap; it's not going to be a land sale," he said.

The deal would include a lot split by the city, which owns two parcels -- 53 acres and 68 acres, roughly -- off Route 303, said Broska. The city would retain the portion of the land north and east of a stream which divides the property, he explained. This would leave area where the baseball fields are now located in the School Board's hands, he said.

City Park would need to be rebuilt, and he said he's working to find a way to help pay for the rebuild. Cost estimates aren't yet available for moving the park.

"The city of Streetsboro can rest assured that before we shut down [City Park], new facilities will be ready to be played on," he said.

Broska listed several facts in favor of building a new high school on the school campus (or immediately adjacent to it on the land the district would obtain in the land deal).

First, he said, building the school on Route 14 may require building an access road from the Route 14 site to the existing campus at an added cost.

The district also would spend more in bus fuel and getting to and from the new school, he said.

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