With closures on horizon, school buildings discussed

Sheffield Elementary School and the South Street Early Learning Center sit vacant.

Sugar Grove, Russell and Allegheny Valley elementary schools will likely be shuttered after this school year as K-12 facility projects are completed at Eisenhower and Sheffield high schools.

During Monday’s meeting of the Warren County School District’s board of directors, board Vice President Donna Zariczny, who also serves as Physical Plant and Facilities Committee chairman, said it is time to start determining the disposition of those buildings.

Zariczny said she has “had requests from the community,” including a developer who might be interested in the use of the vacant schools, asking whether the district plans to utilize, sell or otherwise dispose of the facilities.

“(We) should be putting plans together on what we are doing with those,” she said.

She outlined a two-prong approach. One aspect of the process, particularly at Russell and Allegheny Valley, is determining “what use do we have for them and how will we use them going forward,” she said. The other aspect is addressing the vacant buildings.

She advocated that a plan be in place regarding the buildings “in the next couple months.”

Board member Mary Anne Paris asked whether there are deed restrictions on any of the vacant properties.

“I know that is a problem that has been (raised that) administration is working on,” said Zariczny.

“Hopefully, we’ll start seeing some of that at November’s committee meeting (on Monday, Nov. 18),” she added. That will allow the district to have “some of the groundwork started,” she said.