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The Press Newspaper

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Since 2005, the City of Oregon had shown interest in purchasing the 15-acre Tschann property for a passive park.

Instead, George and Carrie Tschann are donating the land to Kateri Catholic Academy and Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School.

Father Eric Schild, the school president, oversaw a land blessing and dedication on Tuesday at the property, which borders Pickle Road, Worden Road, Schmidlin Road, and Coy Road.

Tschann1
Father Eric Schild blesses the 15 acre
Tschann property. (Press photo by
old Hamilton/HEHphotos.com)

The property is filled with 2,000 trees, mostly gum, oak, and maple, all planted by George Tschann, now 92-years-old and ill health.

“We are called to build on this tradition, and one very powerful way that we do that is by people who are so generous,” Father Schild said. “None of us would be standing here today if it wasn’t for the generosity of so many people who have gone before us and those who continue to give to us.

“You know, it’s a tough thing to run a school nowadays, but there are so many people who believe in you and who care about you, the students of Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School — two of those people here today are George and Carey Tschann. They believe in us so very much, they believe in the mission of our school, that they were willing to give us all of this land so that we could build on it.”

Among the speakers were were State Representative Matt Szollosi, Oregon City Administrator Mike Beazley, Councilman Michael P. Sheehy. Sheehy graduated from Stritch and three of Szollosi’s chidren currently attend Kateri.

“For nearly 25 years, I watched these trees grow in this community,” Sheehy said. “This property is such a jewel. Its 15 acres are surrounding by 85 percent of the population of the city of Oregon. So, nobody in Oregon has to go very far to get to this beautiful piece of land.

“I tried very hard on city council over a number of years to call this property a park for the City of Oregon, but the Lord apparently had some different plans as did George Tschann,” Sheehy continued.

“One of my colleagues said, ‘I wonder what Cardinal Stritch will do with it?’ And, I said, ‘You know what, I don’t know what Cardinal Stritch will do with it, but they will do the right thing with it because they’ve done the right thing by me, by all those people who have come before me, come after me at Cardinal Stritch. The saying is ‘The Lord moves in mysterious ways.’ This is yet another mysterious and grateful day for the Cardinal Stritch Cardinals.”

In 1999, then-Mayor James Haley authorized the purchase of the property, which had been appraised at $83,000. In 2002, it was reappraised at $150,000.

In 2005, George Tschann, the original owner of the former Oregon Lanes bowling center on Navarre, rejected the city’s offer to purchase the land.

In 2009, the city offered $195,000, which Tschann accepted and was approved by a 4-3 vote of council. 

We will begin in the gym with a brief ceremony. The students will then process over to the Tschann’s home, located at 3521 Pickle Road for the formal blessing.
That evening, October 25th, beginning at 7:00pm we will conduct a community information night regarding the land donation. This will take place in the chapel, located near the main entrance of the school on Pickle Road.


Father Schild—
--says school has identified several easement locations are available for access

The meeting was very positive and the neighbors, I think, received the message well. Our big message is that at this point we are going to be undergoing a strategic planning process, to figure out not only what to do with the land, but with our whole school system. We just completed a three-year strategic plan, so now it is time to look at that again. Certainly, the land will be part of it.

There are many possibilities with the land. We are very excited about those possibilities. I think the big thing that we wanted to get across to the neighbors was that we want to be a good neighbor, so we sought their input. We gave them a feedback form for them to get back to us so they can give us their thoughts on what they thought that land might become and for us to answer any concerns that they have.

We’re waiting to get back the ideas from the sheets people fill out

We are certainly interested in partnering with people if there is something that looks like it would be beneficial to the students, staff, and the community. Those are obviously the people we are concerned about. We want what’s best for our students but we want to be a good neighbor. We want to assure the community that we do want their input on that as we proceed forward.

Says he is open minded


Alumnus Joe Herman, president of board of directors—

It is a great gift and commitment and vote of confidence in this ministry, which is Kateri Catholic Schools. We really appreciate that and look forward to moving this land in the right direction for the community. We are a community. I think this is another example of a community working together for the greater good.

City council president Mike Sheehy, Stritch grad—


Michael Beazley, Oregon city administrator—

Let’s make it clear — one of the things that makes Oregon successful is it’s a place to raise families and to prosper. One of the things that make it a great place to raise families is that we can have choices about where to educate our children, and this is a place that gives a choice to make the community work. We’re glad to be a partner with you, we’re glad to work with you, and we hope that you continue to thrive here in Oregon.


Matt Sollozi, 49th District Ohio state representative—

Father of three Kateri Catholic Academy students, to students--

I would encourage each and every one of you to remember this as we see and are able to enjoy this wonderful property over the years. Remember what the Tschann family is doing here — remember that and do something special.


Mrs. Tschann—

Married him about nine years ago, he was healthy then.

George, now 92-years-old

--said because he was sick, it was too much care for her

George had talked about donating to Cardinal Stritch, and I thought about, ‘Well, what a wonderful group of young people. I was so impressed with the whole thing. I thought at least I can honor George in some way, and that was what my whole goal was to see that he got justice for something in life. My goal was to do it while he was still alive.

I was just trying to think outside the box with those property. I always feel like if you do good it will come back to you—that’s how I try to live my life — taking care of George even. It’s a hard job, but it’s also very rewarding. I’ve learned so much and I thank God I’m able to do it is the biggest thing.

--says there is clause that property cannot be sold or donate the property while he is alive.

He bought. When he sold the bowling alley, George bought a lot of property.

--built the bowling alley—Oregon Lanes

--also owned property in back of it

--says people along property line dump there, so she suggest property is surveyed immediately.

--easement going to be needed

They can buy my house. I told Eric if we ever decide to sell we’ll give you first choice. I’m not going to give it to them obviously because I’d be at a great loss. So I figured it out, I am the one who has to maintain this property and deal with all these people dumping and taxes on it and we can’t sell it. We came down to $5,000 an acre at last offer, and everybody wanted it but nobody wanted all the political game they had to go through to get access to it — infrastructure and all that cost a lot of money. I think the church will have more leeway than people did.

Maybe they can buy an access from one of their neighbors on Coy. Maybe for a football stadium — they don’t have a football stadium. Maybe it will help Cardinal Stritch get up and running because that’s what I wanted to see.

This is bigger than I imagined. George said, ‘Father Eric doesn’t do anything on a small scale’ and said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ When I saw all those young people and saw all the excitement I just really felt in my heart that this was what I wanted to do. That just kind of summed it all up.

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