December 19, 2014

Elyria
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Officials consider future of empty Carlisle Township school

The former East Carlisle School on Grafton Road sits vacant Monday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

The former East Carlisle School on Grafton Road sits vacant Monday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

The fate of East Carlisle School on Grafton Road is up in the air while Carlisle Township trustees ponder whether to renovate or demolish the aging building.

The 85-year-old building is no longer suitable for public use, officials said.

“We are trying to determine the most efficient way of taking care of that building,” Trustee Berry Taylor said. “It sustained water damage over the winter from the third floor all the way down. We have had people come out to look at it, and everyone has said it’s not a good idea to put a lot of money into.”

Cracks have damaged the foundation and water infiltrated support blocks, he said.

The township owns the school and the eight acres it sits on. The building most recently was a community meeting space. The gymnasium was rented out to the public.

But once water damage was found last year, the building has sat unused. The township does minimally maintain it with utilities, keeping the grass cut and boarding up any broken windows.

Trustee Bob White said several ballfields behind the school are not being used, either.

Taylor said he hasn’t made up his mind about the building. It hasn’t been appraised.

“The county auditor has it listed for $1 million-plus,” he said. “But that’s kind of ridiculous. We’re not getting a million dollars for it. I want to see figures before I figure out what to do.”

So far, no one has expressed interest in the building, Taylor said.

White said trustees will make a decision in the next couple of months. The school, once owned and operated by Midview Schools, closed in 2005.

The township purchased the former school after that for $200,000 to prevent the parcel from being annexed to Elyria. The funds to purchase the building came from inheritance taxes.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.