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Land bought for new Sharon Elementary School

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Alyssa Alfano

The Gazette

After learning of a rezoning request near the property where Highland Schools wanted to build the new Sharon Elementary School, school officials went on a hunt for new land that would not affect the building project.

On Monday, board members announced the purchase of two plots of land as the site for the new building.

The district plans to build the new Sharon Elementary on land at 6216 Ridge Road and

6176 Ridge Road. The two lots cost a total of $680,000 and are about 34 acres in all.

This puts the building project back on track with construction set to begin in the near future.

“Construction is expected to be finished by August 2021 on all three buildings,” said Dawn Marzano, district spokeswoman. “That’s what we are shooting for.”

In addition to a new Sharon Elementary, Highland plans to rebuild both Granger Elementary and Hinckley Elementary schools.

The property that will soon house the new Granger Elementary building is located on Wilbur Road. It is 90.47 acres and cost the district $1 million.

The new Hinckley Elementary building will also be built on Ridge Road. The land is 21.7 acres and cost the district $800,000.

The district is in the planning stages for the new schools and more details will be released at upcoming board meetings, Marzano said.

Board members did an about-face on the original Sharon Elementary location after land near it was proposed for a zoning change that would make the area designated industrial.

The district was looking to buy the 48-acre site of the former Western Reserve Golf Course. The property would have been purchased for $645,519.

Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said in an October statement that the rezoning request was learned about before the deal was finalized. When the district became aware that industrial zoning would be expanded near the area, the “property (become) less desirable for an elementary school site.”

The complete project is being funded with voter support in the form of a bond issue passed in November 2017 to fund a $63 million plan to replace the district’s aging elementary schools including Sharon Elementary, which is

95 years old; Granger Elementary, 88 years old; and Hinckley Elementary, 68 years old.

The bond issue passed after three years of discussion and collaboration with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Aukerman said new land was needed as the OFCC recommends at least 16 acres of space for new elementary schools. The current buildings sit on much smaller lots, she said.

Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at aalfano@medina-gazette.com.

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