District eyes options with vacant elementary school

Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry Warren County School District is looking into the possibility of selling the former Pleasant Township School.

Pleasant Elementary School hasn’t held Warren County School District students for many years.

But, the district still uses the building for storage.

Keeping it running means keeping the lights and heat on.

During Monday night’s meeting of the school board’s physical plant and facilities committee, a board member asked if those ongoing expenses are worth it.

Board Member Donna Zariczny asked about the utility reports presented to the committee.

In all, the district spent $255,000 for heating and $707,000 for electricity for its buildings from Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022.

The annual amounts at Pleasant were about $12,000 in gas and $4,000 in electric, she said.

“With Pleasant, we turn on the heat as late as possible,” District Operations Manager David Undercoffer said. “We keep the building at 50 to 55 degrees, but it’s an old building.”

Zariczny said she was not accusing the staff of keeping the building too warm.

“It’s a necessity when you have an empty structure,” she said. “You have to heat it. I’m just wondering if there’s an opportunity.”

“I’m wondering what we could do to sell the property or, if we can’t sell the property, what it would cost to demolish the building,” Zariczny said.

The district uses the Pleasant building to store materials, Superintendent Amy Stewart said. Selling the property has been problematic. It sits in a low-density residential zone. The uses for a former school building would be very limited.

Losing the building would mean the district would have to come up with other options for storage, but that can be handled, Stewart said.

The district has had discussions with Warren County about the zoning and has received some nibbles about the property.

Stewart suggested offering the building for sale rather than looking immediately into demolition.

“I think it’d be worth putting it out there,” she said.


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