RISING CITY — An approximately 100-year-old school building in Rising City will be torn down before the site is used as a community center.
The Rising City Village Board approved an agreement last week to take over ownership of the Shelby-Rising City Schools property.
The building was most recently home to the district’s middle school following the merger between Rising City and Shelby in 2011. Classes continued in the building until May, and all students within the district now attend school in Shelby.
Under the agreement, the three-story building will be demolished with the gymnasium preserved for use as a community center.
“With the purchase by the village, it makes sure there will be a use for part of the facility in the community, which was the No. 1 goal for both entities,” Shelby-Rising City Superintendent Chip Kay said.
The village purchased the property for $1.
Kay said the district selected that selling price because the village must spend money to renovate the building and make it usable for the community.
The total price tag for both the village and school district to complete the project is being finalized.
Kay said the district will use money earmarked in the merger agreement for the project, and another $25,000 to $50,000 will likely be needed for the demolition and utility work.
A roughly $123,000 contract with Cuba Construction in Columbus was approved by the school board for the demolition of the building, basement, activity entrance and north annex, as well as backfilling the property. Work on the site could begin this week and will likely take several months to complete.
The gymnasium, a shop, shed and music building that is a transplanted rural schoolhouse will be maintained and utilized by the village.
Because of its age, the school building in Rising City has structural issues that would cost millions to fix. With that in mind, a $14.9 million bond issue was approved by voters in 2015 to expand the school in Shelby and make room for the middle school students.
That project was completed prior to the start of this school year.
Kay said the agreement will save the district money.
“The school district will have a savings as annual costs to insure, secure and maintain the empty facility were anticipated to be higher than the contribution amount,” he said.