MEDINA TWP. — The Medina Township trustees are trying to decide on what to do with the old Weymouth School.
They’ll either take a $300,000 offer from of the nonprofit Intervention for Peace, or a more modest offer of $215,000 from the Medina Soccer Association.
More than 50 people crammed into the Medina Township Hall on Thursday night to voice their concerns to the trustees.
Trustees have negotiated with the soccer group for almost two years about purchasing the school at Myers and Remsen roads. The Medina Soccer Association and the Weymouth Preservation Society have made investments into the three-room schoolhouse built in 1925 that is attached to the building complex.
The Intervention for Peace, headed by developer David Clardy, stepped in and made the lucrative offer.
“We need it to be the hub for all the businesses we are involved in,” Clardy said. “We need space.”
Trustees needed a unanimous vote to sell the school, and one member, Ken DeMichael, voted no to the proposal at a meeting April 20.
Clardy, with help from county developer Mike Kaminski, and others renovated the nonprofit Spokes Cafe on South Broadway Street in Medina that employs developmentally disabled people. They are working with Montville Township trustees on a second location at Austin Badger Park.
There had been reports that if Clardy purchased the building, he would vacate the current occupants of Weymouth School, but Clardy said that’s not the case. The soccer association, Weymouth Preservation Society and Medina Creative Housing currently inhabit the building.
Susan McKiernan of the Weymouth Preservation Society said almost 900 artifacts are housed in the three-room schoolhouse. There is also a museum.
“We will build you a room better than you have as large or larger,” Clardy told McKiernan at the meeting. “You will have a community room.”
Clardy said he plans on using the community room for meetings and training sessions. The rest of the time, it could be used as a community room.
The soccer association will keep its offices at the building. Clardy said he hopes to work out an agreement with the preservation society. Also, the nonprofit agency Medina Creative Housing has found a new office in the city of Medina, but still has some storage in Weymouth.
The trustees have owned the building since 2012 when they purchased it for $85,000.
Resident Susan Robertson said she was embarrassed by the trustees and their “unethical” conduct, referring to the treatment of the soccer association.
DeMichael took exception to that comment and said there’s nothing unethical about another offer coming in.
Another resident, Carol Feron, said the trustees reneged on their offer with the soccer association.
“You’ve violated our trust,” she said.
Clardy said his group wants the facility even though many township residents say it contains asbestos.
“We would improve the facility,” he said. “The public would have more access (to the community room) than it has now.
“We want to do something to help the community.”
Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty, CEO of Medina Creative Housing, said her agency twice tried to purchase the building.
DeMichael said the soccer association is content and happy to stay in the building if it’s sold to Clardy.
Resident John Basilone told the trustees to make a decision and take the highest bidder.
“You’ll never get everyone to agree,” he said. “Take the money and run. Make a decision.”
If they make what voters believe is the wrong decision, Basilone said, they might be turned out of office in their next election.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.