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Vermilion Schools auctions off building

Alissa Widman Neese • Jan 18, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Vermilion Schools auctioned off one of its former buildings this past week, with its longtime occupier snatching the opportunity to formally own the facility.

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland, which has leased the old Lake School building for more than 20 years, agreed to purchase it for $100,000 at a public auction Jan. 8, according to a news release. It was the sole bidder.

Board members approved the purchase at their meeting Monday, and it is anticipated the sale will be officially completed by mid-February.

The money will go to the Vermilion Schools general fund, which is about $21 million each year.

“The board is very pleased that the YMCA of Greater Cleveland has made this decision to invest in Vermilion,” board president Dale Dawson said. “We are excited that our local YMCA will remain a resource for our community”

The former Lake School building, constructed in 1960, is located at 320 Aldrich Road. It’s almost 43,000 square feet and sits on about 7.5 acres of property in the city’s Vermilion-on-the-Lake subdivision.

Vermilion Schools stopped using the building in 1988 when it reduced its elementary buildings from four to two as a cost-saving measure. The Vermilion Family YMCA began leasing the facility in 1993, first occupying only the north wing, and later expanding programs throughout the entire facility. The Vermilion and Cleveland YMCAs merged in 2012.

The organization offers child care, a wellness program, several fitness programs, classes and more, according to its website.

The sale is a win-win for both the district and the community, superintendent Phil Pempin said.

“The YMCA offers programs that are valuable to our students,” Pempin said. “As always, we stand ready to share resources whenever possible as a service to Vermilion residents and families.”

Vermilion Schools is currently in the process of constructing a new elementary school near Sailorway Middle School on Sailorway Drive. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with the project costing about $10 million. The district will then move students from the existing Vermilion Elementary School building on Decatur Street into the new facility.

Board members have indicated they would then like to sell the old elementary school building, as well as the district’s administrative office on Beechview Drive, as it consolidates all district buildings onto a single campus off of Sailorway Drive.

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