Condominiums, carriage houses proposed at old Hudson Middle School site

Meeting to discuss proposal is Feb. 1

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Hudson City School District Superintendent Phil Herman is pictured at the former Hudson Middle School building on North Oviatt Street on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. The district will host a community webinar meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 to discuss a housing development that has been proposed for the building. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

HUDSON — Residents will have a chance to learn more about a proposal to repurpose the original part of the former middle school building and offer their feedback.

A proposed use for the 1927 portion of the building at 77 Oviatt St. will be the topic of "Preserving A Legacy," a community webinar hosted by the school district on Monday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. 

The board of education in November approved a letter of intent with Westlake-based Liberty Development Co., which has proposed building approximately 22 condominiums in the part of the former middle school that was constructed in 1927. Liberty Development also proposed constructing eight to 10 carriage houses behind the building, and putting in two single-family homes along the street. One of the houses is already there, but would be renovated under the proposal, according to district spokesperson Sheryl Sheatzley.

"We want to provide updates about the process that has been followed …regarding … a concept that is being proposed by Liberty Development for repurposing the building and the steps that need to be taken before a proposal can move forward," said Superintendent Phil Herman.

The Hudson City School District is reviewing a proposed repurposing of the 1927 section of the former Hudson Middle School building on North Oviatt Street. Liberty Development Co. has proposed converting the building into about 20 condominiums. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

Dru Siley, Liberty’s vice president of development and a Hudson High School graduate, will show concept drawings on Feb. 1.Herman will also give a presentation and both men will be available to answer questions.

Herman said while the letter of intent was not a binding contract, it showed the board’s approval in exploring the feasibility of the idea with Liberty Development. 

"The letter of intent is spelling out a process through which the district could sell the Oviatt Street parcel to Liberty," stated Herman. "… Liberty is further developing their plans and conducting studies to determine whether they want to move forward with the project and the land purchase." 

Sheatzley emphasized that Liberty is offering ideas on what could be done at the site and "is having these meetings to get input from the community."

Hudson City School District Superintendent Phil Herman is pictured at the former Hudson Middle School building on North Oviatt Street on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. The district will have a community webinar on Feb. 1 to discuss a proposal to repurpose the 1927 section of the building with condominiums. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

The superintendent said a brochure about the meeting was mailed to district homes, but, due to delays in mail delivery, he noted he was not certain if residents would receive the notice in time.

"The whole point of the meeting is to make sure that our community has an opportunity to know what is being considered …so if they do have questions, concerns or points they want to make in support…they have an opportunity to do that, " said Herman.

Information on how to join the Zoom meeting can be found in a digital version of the meeting brochure at http://ow.ly/cOpn50DiY64.

Details about the meeting are also available on the district's website at https://www.hudson.k12.oh.us/ and Facebook page at "Hudson City Schools, Ohio."

The Hudson City School District is reviewing a proposal to repurpose the portion of the old Hudson Middle School that was built in 1927.

Background

Herman said that when the district was initially creating its master facilities plan, which included constructing a new middle school near the former building, the idea was to tear down the entire former middle school. However, he said, “the public expressed concern about the part built in 1927,” so a committee was formed to look at the feasibility of saving that part of the structure.

The project envisioned by Liberty Development would repurpose the 1927 portion of the building for condominiums. The district still plans to tear down the parts of the building constructed between 1960 and 1970.

The former middle school building had served as the district’s high school until the new high school was completed in 1992.

The district’s third, fourth and fifth graders are currently attending classes in the former middle school (including the 1927 portion) on Oviatt Street because of renovations at McDowell and East Woods elementary schools. Sheatzley said she anticipates the work at those buildings will be finished in spring or early summer.

Previously, McDowell was the school for the district’s third graders, and fourth and fifth grades went to East Woods. When the renovation projects are finished, students in grades 3-5 will go to East Woods and Pre-K and kindergarten students will attend McDowell. First and second graders will continue attending Ellsworth Hill Elementary School. Evamere is currently used for Pre-K and kindergarten students, but it will be converted into administrative offices and daytime space for Hudson Community Education and Recreation programs.

Editor's note: Reporter April Helms contributed to this story.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.