August 27, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria district buys land

ELYRIA — Elyria Schools on Wednesday agreed to pay out nearly $600,000 for the purchase of seven parcels of land in their ongoing quest to flatten a block of property for a new high school.
The parcels are owned by five different people and include one single-family home, a few small apartment houses and vacant land, according to the county auditor’s records.   
All of the purchase agreements were a few thousand dollars more than what the county auditor appraised the properties at last year, according to the agreements and auditor’s records.
School officials recently secured a $5 million loan to help purchase about 40 parcels in the block between Sixth and Seventh streets and West and Middle avenues, as well a few parcels on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and West Avenue.  
Officials said they had to take out the loan because the money from the bond issue passed by voters on May 8 won’t start rolling in until later this year.
School officials insist they’re still on target to pay $3 million for all of the properties. The additional $2 million of the loan will be used to pay for demolition of the homes and buildings, as well as utility work, consultant fees and other peripheral expenses in the early phase of the $68 million project.  
Also Tuesday, school officials said the state has agreed to pay $21.6 million toward the project — about 39 percent of the co-funded cost — which is slightly less than the $23 million that school officials were projecting earlier this year.
However, the difference was largely defrayed by a $1.25 million school rehabilitation grant that the district applied for and received last month, as well as interest the district will earn on the bond money before it’s actually used, Elyria Schools Superintendent Paul Rigda said.
The total estimated construction cost of the new high school is about $68 million. Of that bill, about
$9 million is for things the state won’t pay for — the land purchases, and amenities in the school, such as an auditorium and terrazzo flooring.
Contact Shawn Foucher at 329-7197 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.

PROPERTIES BOUGHT
Total payout for seven parcels: $577,750

427 W. Sixth St., single-family home
Owner: Kory Reilly
Sale price: $83,050
County auditor’s appraisal: $75,500

624 West Ave., two-family apartment house
Owner: Jerry Jankowski
Sale price: $99,000
Auditor’s appraisal: $92,500

607 Middle Ave., Commercial warehouse and adjoining lot
Owner: Michael Sedivec
Sale price: $150,000
Auditor’s appraisal (for both): $139,400

611 Middle Ave., two-family apartment house
Owner: James Lucas
Sale price: $86,000
Auditor’s appraisal: $83,900

352 Sixth St. and 348 1/2 Sixth St., apartments
Owner: George Keressi
Sale price: $159,700
Auditor’s appraisal (for both): $158,700