Genoa schools officials still aren’t sure what to do with the soon-to-be closed Brunner Elementary School building.
So this week they are asking state officials to extend their decision deadline, superintendent Dennis Mock said.
“We are currently in negotiations with a prospective buyer,” Mock said Tuesday afternoon, explaining part of the predicament.
Brunner Elementary, located within Genoa’s corporation limits, and its sister elementary, Allen Central in Allen Township, will be vacated at the end of the 2010-11 school year when the new multi-million dollar Genoa Elementary is finished on the high school-middle school campus. The construction completes a long-term plan to unify the rural western Ottawa County school district onto one campus on Genoa-Clay Center Road.
Construction costs are being funded by a 28-year bond issue passed by voters as well as money approved through the Ohio State Facilities Commission.
As part of the deal, the commission imposed an early spring deadline for Genoa administrators to decide what to do with the two older buildings.
District officials have opted to raze the Allen Central building. The land, 12 acres in all, will be turned over to Allen Township for its park system, Mock said.
Just over seven acres near Brunner Elementary that contain ball fields and a soccer field will be given to the village of Genoa.
However, what will happen to the Brunner building and another eight surrounding acres hasn’t been decided.
The options, according to Mock, are to sell it, raze it, or maintain it - that is basically boarding it up and leaving a possible community eyesore.
An early December auction was unsuccessful.
Then a possible buyer emerged in recent weeks, the superintendent explained.
The problem is the decision deadline imposed by the state is days away, Mock said.
Commission officials are traveling from Columbus to Genoa for a construction meeting.
At that time, “We’ll ask for the extension,” Mock said.
In the mean time, crews work feverishly to meet a mid-June construction deadline for the new elementary school. “It’s really moving along,” Mock said.
An August open house is planned.