TALLMADGE — The purchase of 12 acres of land helps cement the district’s dream of having all of its athletic facilities in one location.

The school board on Monday approved purchasing 2 acres from Community Baptist Church and 10 acres from Mindale Farms, for a total of $356,180. The land is north of the high school, according to information from the district.

"The purchasing of this land will allow the district to keep the high school athletic facilities together, creating a more park-like experience with multiple benefits," said Steve Wood, chief operating officer. "With this addition, the baseball and softball areas will be able to share amenities, such as the restrooms and concessions, with the football/soccer stadium."

Wood said the land purchase will be paid for with money generated from a .9-mill levy passed by voters in November 2016 for constructing a new high school stadium and athletic facilities. The bond issue generates $7 million for the stadium and planned renovations. These facilities include a football/soccer stadium, practice fields and baseball and softball fields.

Without this opportunity, it would have been necessary to spread out the athletic facilities all across the high school campus, Wood said.

"This is a great opportunity for the district that we simply could not pass up," said Superintendent Jeff Ferguson. "We are thankful to Community Baptist Church and Mindale Farms for their partnership in making this project happen for our students and community."

Tallmadge will continue to consider other ways to consolidate the district, including the sale of the Dunbar property when it is empty, according to information provided by the district. Voters in November 2016 also approved a 3.9-mill bond issue to construct a new elementary school building for the district's kindergarten through fifth-graders, and a new middle school for the district's sixth- through eighth-graders. The new elementary school building will combine the students currently at Dunbar Primary School and Munroe Elementary School into one building.

Munroe Elementary will be bulldozed, and the land will be incorporated into the high school campus and make up the athletic fields, Ferguson said in an earlier interview. The middle school will be bulldozed as well. The administration plans to sell Dunbar.

The cost of constructing the two schools is estimated at about $45 million, Ferguson said in an earlier interview. The bond issue will raise $31 million, and the remaining $14 million will come from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

The district may also look to sell some additional property around the David Bacon facility in the future, according to information from the district.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, ahelms@recordpub.com, or ??@AprilKHelms_RPC??