Grove City Council is expected to vote on legislation Monday, Oct. 7 to authorize an agreement for the city to purchase property within and adjacent to the Beulah Park development area as a site for a new school that would serve as a replacement for Brookpark Middle School.

In exchange, the city would purchase the current Brookpark site for a nominal amount and use the building and property for recreational programs.

Council will hold a public hearing and second reading, followed by the anticipated vote, at the meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 4035 Broadway.

Grove City will purchase parcels totaling 18.4 acres south of the Columbus Street extension, north of Grove City Road and east of Demorest Road, for the new school site. About 4 acres are within the Beulah Park project area.

The city and school district reached an agreement last month for the city to purchase the property. The city will buy parcels at 3917 Elm St. and 3156 and 3150 Demorest Road for $406,000.

The city also will buy parcels at 3160 Demorest Road and 4310 Grove City Road for $540,000. An initial payment of $100,000 will be made on closing in 2019. The remaining $440,000 will be paid in three equal installments between 2020 and 2022.

The South-Western Board of Education gave its approval to the agreement Sept. 9.

All money for the land purchases will come out of the city’s general fund, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

“The installment payments will help reduce the impact on our general-fund expenses by spreading the cost out over a period of years,” he said.

The replacement for Brookpark will be constructed as part of the second phase of South-Western’s Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project, Superintendent Bill Wise said.

Voters approved a $93.4 million bond issue in November 2018 to fund the local share of the cost of the second phase, which will include construction of new buildings for Brookpark, Finland, Norton and Pleasant View middle schools and renovations at Jackson Middle School and East Franklin Elementary School.

The commission will provide half of the cost of the building projects.

The agreement between the district and the city also allows the district to construct the new Pleasant View Middle School adjacent to Bolton Crossing Elementary School on Holt Road, allowing the new school building to make better use of city water and sewer services and use natural-gas lines rather than the propane-gas system at Pleasant View, Wise said.

Construction of the new middle school buildings is expected to begin in summer 2020, with the buildings opening in fall 2022, Wise said.

Grove City will pay $10 for the Brookpark site and will occupy it by July 2022. The city will be able to use some of the fields and space on the school property immediately for parks and recreation programs, Stage said.

“This is the definition of a win-win arrangement,” he said.

The school gets the benefit of a site for a larger school building to replace Brookpark, and the city has been able to ensure the replacement school building will be in Grove City, he said. 

“There’s a real economic-development aspect to this,” Stage said. “We’ll be able to keep the income-tax revenue from the people who work at the Brookpark school in Grove City, not to mention from the people who will be working to build the new school.”

“I love this kind of agreement because it’s a textbook example of how a city and school district can work together to come up with an arrangement that benefits the city, the schools and the community as a whole,” Wise said.

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