We have had a few inquiries as to the status of West Elementary…
When the levy was passed for the construction of a new elementary school, the village negotiated the acquisition of the old school property from Buckeye Valley. After BV vacates the school, it will become property of Ostrander. The village has been involved for the past 18 months deciding what to do and what can be done with the school. There is a committee working on that very subject. There has been extensive research and several studies on the existing structure and the committee has made a recommendation to Council as to what should be done with the old West Elementary. The recommendation is on the website for review.
To summarize the recommendation…the committee came to similar conclusions as BV as to the fate of the school. Although the village and community would like to save the entire building and to have a community recreation center, the age and condition of a large portion of the school is just too far gone. There are extensive improvements that must be made to the school to continue to utilize the space for the public. The estimate to bring the building up to standards was estimated around $3 million. That money would not even guarantee the usefulness of the building for years to come. It is very likely more extensive repairs would need to take place in the next 10-20 years in addition to the initial investment. The bottom line is, although the gymnasium and surrounding areas may appear in decent condition, the school just has old bones and the cost to renovate and keep the building operational are just not feasible.
On a more positive note, the committee recommends to keep a portion of the building for village and community use. Although that portion of the building is not able to accommodate sports, it will be able to provide community space. Long term goals are to consider building a multi-purpose building that would include a gymnasium pending future grants and funding sources. Even though we are not able to save the gym, we will be able to lay the groundwork for future development in the area. The ball fields are planned to remain in place and useable for the foreseeable future.
We are looking for resident volunteers to help with the new building. Upon receipt of the property, we expect to need assistance with electric, HVAC, and general construction. Please contact a council member if you are able to help out.