Dayton school board sells two former school sites

Dayton’s school board this week approved the sale of two former school sites, plus the sale or donation of two other properties, as it seeks to decrease the amount of vacant property it has to maintain.

All four sites are vacant land, as any buildings have been demolished.

The board approved the sale of the former Carlson School site, 807 S. Gettysburg Ave., to Homefull, a local agency that provides services to the homeless. The 16.1-acre site south of U.S. 35 and north of Germantown Street was purchased for $79,310.

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Tina Patterson, CEO of Homefull, said her agency is still in the early planning stages of how it will use the property.

“Our most important thing is we wanted to make sure that our largest investment, right next door, is protected, and something (undesirable) doesn’t go in next to us,” Patterson said.

Homefull runs the Family Living Center immediately south of the former school property at 829 S. Gettysburg Ave. That parcel contains six buildings with 34 units of permanent housing for families who were homeless, with social services on site. Homefull got tax credits to significantly renovate the property, and Patterson said the first families moved in this week, with project completion set for July.

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“We will be looking at the (school) property for use to further our mission and vision, which is about addressing poverty,” Patterson said, adding that Homefull will not put a shelter on the school site. “Our emphasis is about addressing housing, food and jobs. … Right now we’re really into urban farming and gardening.”

The former Colonel White High School site at 501 Niagara Ave. was also sold, for a mere $4,290 to Frederick Holley. The 5.56-acre grassy lot in the Santa Clara/Mount Vernon neighborhood sits a few blocks east of Omega Baptist Church off Salem Avenue.

Holley said the acquisition is part of the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor’s efforts to bring new development to the area, in the way their Salem Avenue land purchase has helped lead to creation of Gem City Market.

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“The SAPC plans to meet with the neighborhoods around the Colonel White parcel to ensure we have a clear understanding of what those neighbors would like to see developed on that site,” Holley said, suggesting that process would take several months. “We will marry those desires with our overall vision, our knowledge of the market, driven by our market studies to ensure sustainability and best use of that property.”

The original part of Colonel White was built in 1929 as a junior high. Additions were built in the 1950s and 60s as the school transitioned to a high school. The complex was demolished in 2008 as part of Dayton’s new school construction boom.

The other two properties are much smaller. At 2117-2125 French Lane, a tiny grass parcel near West Third Street was deeded to the city of Dayton as a gift. The parcel is adjacent to the parking lot and basketball courts immediately west of the Greater Dayton Recreation Center.

Another parcel of less than one acre, at 415 Pritz Ave., was sold to Stanley Mitchell for $4,631. That parcel is at the end of a cul-de-sac between Xenia Avenue and U.S. 35, just east of Steve Whalen Boulevard.

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