The Columbus Board of Education has again put the fate of the Indianola Middle School property back on its agenda - more than six months after it unanimously approved a deal with Ohio State University.
Alison Holm has more.
In September, 2017 the board pushed through a proposal to sell the vacant Indianola Middle School to OSU for 2.3 million dollars – a bit under the appraised value of 3 million. Because the university is a public entity, the district was able to side step the traditional public auction. The proposed sale of the historic building was approved unanimously, and board members were enthusiastic about the prospect of working with OSU and the community to develop a new school on the 7-acre site.
But a promised memorandum of understanding was never ironed out. In November the deal was technically dead, although both sides said they continued to talk. But the district on Tuesday will once again offer the building to OSU, this time with a 2.35 million dollar price tag, which the district lists as the appraised value. The Franklin County auditor’s website puts the 2017 market value at 5.13 million.
The revived proposal comes as the district is struggling to cut 21 million dollars from next year’s budget to deal with decreased state funding. Cuts currently under consideration include closing some schools, and continuing to sell off unused property.