Saturday, April 22, 2000

Sycamore Twp. buys school

Community center slated

BY Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SYCAMORE TWP. — The Blue Ash Elementary School building will be turned into a community center.

        By a 4-1 vote this week, the Sycamore Board of Education approved the sale of the building to the township for $3 million.

        Lori Thompson, township administrator, said officials expect to get started on converting the building at 8522 Kenwood Road in about a year.

        “We don't know how much we will have to do to convert the building to a community center,” Mrs. Thompson said. “We have not drafted any building plans yet.”

        As a result of the sale, the Sycamore Community School District will get two new elementary schools.

        “As part of the agreement for the purchase, we will not start converting the building until a new school is built for the district to replace the Blue Ash Elementary School,” Mrs. Thompson said.

        The district is negotiating with the University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters branch for land to build an $11 million elementary school near the college, said Bruce Armstrong, district superintendent.

        “The university has said it will give us the land for free,” Mr. Armstrong said.

        For the free land, the uni versity has asked the school district to provide four classrooms for evening and weekend college classes.

        “The Blue Ash Elementary School building is about 30 years old. We wanted to build a new school closer to the district it served,” Mr. Armstrong said.

        He said a $9 million elementary school will be built at Montgomery and Schoolhouse roads, replacing the Montgomery Elementary School at 9609 Montgomery Road.

        The district passed a levy in 1998 that generated $45 million to renovate and build schools for its 6,079 students.

        Board members Pat Raffel and Charlie Wilfong said the possibility of a new building has been discussed for several years.


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