District selects developer bid for former Highland Elementary School

by Melissa Martin

Feb. 22 school board meeting

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights Board of Education has agreed to sell the former Highland Elementary School property for $1.1 million.

The move comes just three months after the Brecksville electorate voted in favor of rezoning the property to an R-20 residential district, which will allow homes to be built on lots that are a minimum of 20,000 square feet.

Originally, the property had been zoned C-F community facilities district, which among other uses, allows schools, religious facilities, public playgrounds, parks, recreation areas, swimming pools, government buildings, libraries, museums, child daycare centers, cemeteries and hospitals to be built on the property. Under this zoning, however, residential homes are not permitted.

Prior to the rezoning, the school district agreed to partner with the city to sell the property to ensure the future use of the land will be harmonious with the surrounding community and the city’s plans. The property was then placed on the market for $1.4 million, which included both the school and the surrounding property.

The city did not receive any bids for the Highland property prior to the rezoning, which prompted the city to rezone the land and once approved, it was placed back on the market earlier this year.

During the second round of bids, School Board President Mark Dosen said the district received three bids for the property – two of which were submitted by home development corporations and the third bid was submitted by the city of Brecksville.

The city did not indicate what its plans were for the site, Dosen said.

The largest bid for the property – $1.1 million – was submitted by a home development company that intends to construct 15 single-family residential homes on the site.

Dosen said the home development company that was not selected by the school district indicated it wanted to build 25 homes on the site, but with conditions.

The board voted unanimously to accept the $1.1 million bid, which Dosen said made “the most sense for the district.”

“This money will go into our permanent improvement fund,” he said. “We have an endless list of needs for which we can use this money.”

School Board member Ellen Kramer agreed.

“There is a lot of good things we can do with this money,” she said. “I think we need to be fiscally responsible and take it.”

With the school board’s approval, the resolution will be sent to Brecksville City Council for its approval, Dosen said. ∞