DPS to auction historic Longfellow school, 23 other sites

A historic former school is among two dozen sites around Dayton to be auctioned by Dayton Public Schools.

The former Longfellow Academy will be auctioned Feb. 15. The school district also is seeking to sell 23 cleared parcels of land that were once the site of prominent local schools such as Colonel White, MacFarlane and Fairport.

A DPS spokeswoman said the school is trying to sell the properties because they are expensive to maintain.

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The school had a similar auction four years ago and was not able to sell any of the properties, though since then the economy has improved and the real estate market has heated up.

Tracey Hanlin, spokeswoman for DPS, said “we are hopeful that — due to a better real estate market — the property will sell.”

The Longfellow school building, with the first wing dating back to 1882, is a prominent historic site surrounded by the Grafton Hill, Dayton View and Jane Reece neighborhoods.

One of the goals of Salem Avenue Peace Corridor LLC, a grassroots neighborhood group, is to help bring the building back to life and attract a developer. The brick Victorian building at 245 Salem Ave., less than a mile from downtown, could be turned into condos or be renovated for some type of commercial purpose, organizers have said.

Jule Rastikis, president of the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor, said the organization is still in talks with other parties about the building, which would have the opportunity to bid on the property at the auction.

“We hope that all this works out for the betterment of the community,” Rastikis said.

When DPS closed the Longfellow Academy the summer before the 2017-18 school year, a contractor noted a leaky roof went unfixed for 14 years, which led to other damage. School officials estimated at the time that the total cost of all needed repairs to the Longfellow campus would be about $6 million.

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The school district will also auction a prominent parcel of land, a 3.2-acre site on Wyoming Street once home to Patterson-Kennedy school.

The land is near Miami Valley Hospital and University of Dayton. It is on the edge of the South Park neighborhood and near the busy Brown Street corridor, with potential for housing or commercial development.

The site at 258 Wyoming St. is listed as having a minimum bid of $1.19 million.

The other properties are throughout the city in residential areas.

“There’s some nice properties if somebody wants to build something in the future,” said auctioneer Michael Hoffman, with Ohio Real Estate Auctions.

The auction will be 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at 115 S. Ludlow St. and there will also be online bidding.

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The properties are being auctioned because of state laws that regulate how public school districts have to sell real estate.

Charter schools with high performance index scores are first given the option of buying public school district properties. Then, any start-up charters, college-prep boarding schools and STEM schools in the district are given the option to buy the properties.

If there’s no interest, the school district then has to sell the properties at auction.

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