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Residents Ask For More Time To Study Old School Possibilities

Mayor Katherine Procop said city officials would consider the requests from the Twinsburg Old School Committee.

Twinsburg residents hoping to save the historic Old School from demolition have asked the city for more time to study the building.

Michael Turle addressed city council and the mayor last week and asked for time and information their citizen committee could use to try to find a solution for the Old School.

He asked the city to provide information and access to the building so they could find possible uses that would allow the city to save the school.

"More than anything, we need some time so we could do this," Turle said. "I'm asking for the opportunity to do this for our city and the preservation of our city."

Mayor Katherine Procop said city officials will consider the residents' proposal and let them know.

City officials, including Mayor Katherine Procop, have said they believe the Old School should be demolished because it would much to costly -- roughly $4 million to $8 million -- to rehab the building.

The Old School was built in 1920 and was Twinsburg's only school until the late 1950s. It was closed as a school in 1992.

More recently, it was used by Kent State University, but the university moved out of the building last year when the new campus opened. The Twinsburg Community Theatre has used the building, but the city plans to move the theatre over to the old township hall on the other side of public square.

Twinsburg-based Pervanje Architects conducted a general condition and code compliance assessment of the building a few years ago. The assesment helps officials understand what fixes are needed to make the building leasable.

Planning and Development Director Larry Finch said the building has numerous problems that make it practically unfixable.

And even once millions of dollars are sunk into it, it would cost about $700,000 in annual maintenance costs, Finch said.

It also would be difficult to market for businesses and other commercial uses.

Only about 46 percent of the building was considered leasable, Finch said. Most buildings have about 75 percent leasable space.

Residents who want to save the Old School have created an online petition seeking support. So far, they have collected 177 signatures.

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