Dublin City Schools buys land near Jerome for future elementary building

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
Dublin City Schools will purchase 13 acres, shown in the red box, east of the Dublin Jerome High School campus, 8300 Hyland-Croy Road, as a site for a future elementary school.

Dublin City Schools leaders do not yet know when the district will need a 15th elementary school, but they already have the site picked out.

The district has purchased 13 acres east of the Dublin Jerome High School campus, 8300 Hyland-Croy Road.

“There is no timeline for when another elementary school might be needed, but now the district will have the land in place, should it be needed,” said Doug Baker, public-information officer for the district.

On Dec. 14, the school board voted 5-0 to approve the purchase for $750,000, plus yet-to-be-finalized closing costs, Baker said.

The parcel is appraised at $1.1 million, according to Baker.

The 13 acres were purchased from developer Charlie Ruma, in partnership with M/I Homes, who sold the land to the district “at a significant discount,” Baker said.

The 13 acres were not included in the rezoning that led to the construction of the Riviera neighborhood, a new residential development east of the high school, said Ruma, president of Davidson Phillips Inc. Ruma and M/I Homes are partners in Riviera Ventures, the developer of the Riviera, which has taken shape over the past few years between Avery and Hyland-Croy roads.

The land for the Riviera neighborhood was rezoned in 2017. The neighborhood has 185 lots on 156 acres, and only "five or six lots" have not been developed, Ruma said.

At the time of the rezoning, the school district had expressed interest in the parcel to replace an elementary school building, and the parcel was left out of the rezoning process for the Riviera, Ruma said.

"It's well located and a good buy for (the school district)," Ruma said.

Ruma acknowledged he sold the property for less than market value, but it was the price he paid for the land.

"We sold it for what we paid for it. ... I don't need to make a profit on the schools," he said. "We have supported the schools since we have been in Dublin."

"We got a great deal," Superintendent Todd Hoadley said. "(Ruma) has been a great partner and supporter of our district for many years."

The district has a precedent obtaining land well in advance of need.

The district owned land on Bright Road “for decades” before it eventually was used for Hopewell Elementary School, which opened this year, Baker said.

The district also opened Abraham Depp Elementary School in Jerome Village this year.

"Like Bright Road, it might be 20 years, but we are a growing district, and we don't want to be without land when (a new building) is needed," Hoadley said.

The district expects to close on the purchase the week of Dec. 21, Baker said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo