Original Union Elementary Deconstruction to Begin Mid-August; Open House on Aug. 12
The bid for deconstructing the former Union Elementary School was approved by the Lakota Board of Education at its July 18 board meeting. The project’s total cost, including abatement services for the removal of hazardous material, landed at approximately $236,000 – less than half the original estimate of $500,000. The total cost will be shared with the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty.
The school board’s approval of the collaboration agreement in late May set into motion a long-term land lease that permits the club to build its new, privately-funded facility on a portion of the district’s 9-acre property on Cincinnati-Dayton Road.
Per the agreement, the Boys & Girls Club will be responsible for 40 percent of the final demolition cost. The club will also finance the construction of its new $6.5 million facility (owned by the district at the end of the lease agreement) and assume all maintenance costs currently covered by the school district.
“We remain focused on this partnership’s potential to serve our youth in a meaningful way,” said Lakota Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia. “We’re also pleased with how it addresses the costly alternative of maintaining or renovating the building while allowing the district to retain ownership of really valuable acreage.”
Following the removal of asbestos from the building, the deconstruction process is scheduled to begin in mid-August. Construction of the new building would begin shortly thereafter.
“As excited as we are for what this will provide to children in our community, we value our community’s loyalty to a place that served our students and staff so well for so many years,” said Lakota Board President Lynda O’Connor, following the board’s final approval of the agreement in May. “We will do our very best to capture the historic significance of the building in a way that the whole community can appreciate for many more years to come.”
Since then, the school district has helped form a committee to assist with a Lakota student’s Eagle Scout project that will memorialize the former school. The construction of a memorial at the current Union Elementary School will honor the school’s history.
The West Chester – Union Township Historical Society, in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, will give the community a final opportunity to look inside the former Union Elementary School located off Cincinnati Dayton Road.
An informal community walk-through will be held on Friday, Aug. 12, any time from 3-6 p.m. Volunteers from the Historical Society will be on site to answer visitor questions about the building’s history and help guide community members throughout the building.
“Celebrating and capturing our history is an important part of this whole process,” Mantia said. “The thought and energy going into the memorial project is incredible and I really think the community will be pleased with the final result.”
For more information about the collaboration agreement between the Lakota Board of Education and the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty, please view these Frequently Asked Questions.