BoE extends option to to buy 9 acres from Oberlin College for new campus


Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune

Oberlin board of education member Barry Richard said the board should know by 2018 what exactly it plans to do — if anything — with 8.97-acres of land Oberlin College has offered to sell.


Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune

Oberlin board of education member Barry Richard said the board should know by 2018 what exactly it plans to do — if anything — with 8.97-acres of land Oberlin College has offered to sell.

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Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune

Oberlin board of education member Barry Richard said the board should know by 2018 what exactly it plans to do — if anything — with 8.97-acres of land Oberlin College has offered to sell.

A meager $1 payment will keep a $50,000 option alive, allowing the Oberlin public schools to buy a nine-acre plot from Oberlin College on North Park Street.

Former Oberlin Schools superintendent John Schroth introduced the deal to the board of education in July 2013. It was approved but the contract has passed its expiration date, which required a renewal if school officials needed to more time to mull a purchase.

The district will pay the college a single buck to hold the property, located to the south of Oberlin High School’s football stadium, until August 2017.

The board does have an option to extend the contract for an additional $1 through 2018.

Board member Barry Richard said the district’s plans for the property should be clear by 2018. That will depend on whether and how construction of a new school campus moves forward.

Treasurer Angela Dotson said the college must hold the property for the school district and not sell it to anyone else.

Board members have expressed interest in putting a bond issue before voters to build a preschool-through-fifth grade building on the high school lot and construct the secondary building later.

The board voted in June to put a $16.7 million bond issue on the November ballot but in August rolled back that decision after much community input and internal discussion.

If the board decides not to take advantage of the option or if voters decline to build a new campus, the district will lose $4 at most.

There has not been an official vote to put the measure on the ballot in 2016, but school board members have publicly all leaned toward building on the high school lot.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.

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