New Carlisle receives funding to demolish school building

The Clark County Commission has approved a $200,000 state grant to be used to demolish Madison Street elementary school - a project New Carlisle has been trying to fund for nearly 10 years. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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The Clark County Commission has approved a $200,000 state grant to be used to demolish Madison Street elementary school - a project New Carlisle has been trying to fund for nearly 10 years. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Madison Elementary School in New Carlisle will finally be demolished after the city purchased the problem property over 20 years ago.

Funding for demolition will come from a Community Development Block Grant that the Board of Clark County Commissioners received from the State of Ohio. The board voted Wednesday morning to allocate $173,900 of the $268,000 grant to the project. The remaining funding will be used on a street repair project in Madison Township.

“This has clearly been an issue, an ongoing issue, for the city and we are very excited about the possibility of getting this school removed and hopefully getting some land that will be productive for both the city and the county,” New Carlisle City Manager Randy Bridge said.

Madison Elementary, a former New Carlisle elementary school located at 600 W. Madison St. in New Carlisle, was purchased in 1998 after voters approved two issues allowing the City of New Carlisle to purchase the school for $110,000 and increasing the city’s income tax by a half percent, in part to pay for the project.

The city planned to use the building for government offices and a community center, but former city officials learned later that renovations would cost between $3.2 and $5 million. The building has since sat vacant. According to the Clark County Auditor’s website, the property was appraised at around $724,000 in 2018.

The New Carlisle City Council lowered the price of the property for $50,000 in 2014. City officials hoped the deal would attract new developers who previously weren’t interested in the property, however, the city did not have any takers.

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“This has been an ongoing process for the City of New Carlisle for quite a while now,” Clark County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin said.

The building has also been a target of vandalism in the past. In 2014, an arsonist spray-painted a circle and wrote ‘boom,’ on the roof of the building before setting a fire that burned through the concrete sub-roof the school, New Carlisle’s former City Manager Kim Jones told the News-Sun after the vandalism.

Bridge said the building is dangerous and the city constantly has to, “check on,” the property as people trespass inside of it.

“We have to go out there and check on it, we have people that go into it and tour it on their own, which is you know, closed off to the public very clearly,” Bridge said.

Bridge said there are no immediate plans yet for the 640 acres of land the school sits on.

“We don’t have any immediate plans but that would be a good location for additional housing. It is close to a residential district. But it also close to an industrial district, so I could see it kind of going both ways. But we are really hoping to add more residences,” Bridge said.

A demolition date of the property has not yet been scheduled as the projects must now be approved by the state.

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$173,900: Cost of demolition of Madison Elementary School

640: Acres the elementary school sits on

22: Years the City of New Carlisle has owned the property

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