Bassett, Dover, Hilliard and Holly Lane Elementary Schools to be Demolished
At its April 10 work session, the Westlake Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a joint land exchange and infrastructure deal that places the new PK-4 elementary building on Center Ridge Road.
The Board of Education vote follows a unanimous vote by Westlake City Council to approve the deal that will affect the community’s educational and recreational experiences.
The agreement, in summary, involves the following:
· Westlake Schools takes ownerships of 29.4 city-owned acres on Center Ridge Road just west of Westlake Porter Public Library to build a PK-4 elementary building.
· In exchange, the City of Westlake will take ownership of 42 acres of district-owned property on Bradley Road, as well as the former administration building at the corner of Dover Center Road and Hilliard Boulevard.
· The district also signed over the deed to its Parkside property – which houses administrative offices and the Board of Education – to the city. The district will rent the property for $1 per year with a buyback option over the next 10 years. The city retains the right to use the building’s gymnasium, sports fields and auditorium for municipal events during the lease period. The district will maintain the grounds during the lease period.
In addition to the land exchange, the city pledged to fund about $1 million in improvements on Center Ridge Road, including a traffic signal and turning lanes, to accommodate increased traffic. The city also is significantly reducing permit fees for the new elementary project.
Discussions on this agreement were in process over several months with both sides working toward a solution that benefits the community as a whole and provides value and flexibility to both parties.
The new elementary school will replace the district’s four buildings – Bassett, Dover, Hilliard and Holly Lane elementary schools, which will be demolished. To maintain the small school feel important to elementary parents, the new building will group students by grade levels in separate wings.
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