Thirteen years after classes ended there, Sill Middle School is being razed.
The bulk of the demolition of the old middle school is scheduled to be complete by Oct. 19, according to Joseph Bagatti, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools director of business and operations. A few exceptions include removing the fence and reseeding the ground, which may have to be postponed until spring 2019.
ProQuality Land Development Inc. in Campbell was contracted to complete the demolition of the 65,000-square-foot building at 1910 Searle Street off Tallmadge Avenue for about $455,000, less than the anticipated estimate of a little more than $1 million. Bagatti said the next lowest bid for the work was about $948,000. The district previously paid $109,900 to Gandee and Associates Inc. for abatement, demolition and site work.
Demolishing Sill was one of the main purposes for passing a 5-year, 4.95 mill emergency operating levy last November. The levy generates about $3.6 million per year.
Built in 1950, the school was closed in 2005, along with Newberry Elementary School, as part of budget cutting measures intended to save the district $1.3 million per year.
While Newberry was leased to Summit Christian School later in 2005, part of Sill was leased to Cuyahoga Falls Good Neighbors, which was at Sill from 2007 to 2014. The school district also continued to use the facility for basketball practice and storage.
Newberry remains in use, though Summit Christian School last year purchased the former Woodridge Primary School building for $400,000 and moved in this school year. Summit County Preschool, operated by the Summit County Educational Services Center, still leases part of Newberry.
The district attempted to auction off Sill Middle School in 2009, but rejected a $150,000 bid from a Tallmadge construction firm. In 2011, the district rejected a real estate firm’s suggestion the property be listed at $425,000. The former superintendent had proposed the school be listed at $850,000, stating the property’s appraised value was between $750,000 and $1.25 million.
According to the Summit County Fiscal Office, the 10-acre lot is now worth around $811,000. Adjacent sub-acre residential lots are appraised at around $20,000, with homes in the neighborhood valued in the $100,000 range, according to county tax records.
Reporter April Helms contributed to this story.
Eric Marotta can be reached at 330-541-9433, firstname.lastname@example.org.