School Funding

Ravenna schools will get funds from the sale of the former high school property

Once the sale of the former Ravenna High School property to the city is finalized, the Ravenna School District will have funds available to improve its existing buildings.

Two weeks ago, Ravenna City Council confirmed that the city planned to purchase the five-acre property at East Main and Clinton streets, the site where Ravenna High School once stood. The city plans to build a new city hall and security center on the site and will pay $315,000 for the property.

On Monday, the Ravenna Council is expected to agree to allocate a maximum of $325,000 towards the purchase, including closing costs.

Continued: Demolition begins on 98-year-old police station demolished for new Kent Town Hall

School district treasurer Candi Lukat told the Ravenna School Board this week that the district entered into an agreement with the Portage County Port Authority a decade ago. The Port Authority, the county’s economic development officer, has agreed to commercialize the site if the Ravenna School District demolishes the old high school using state money earmarked for demolition after the new one opens. North Chestnut Street High School. The demolition took place over a period of several months from 2012 to 2013.

Under that agreement, Lukat said, the school district would receive half of the funds when the property is finally sold, with a minimum of $115,000. Funds, she said, are limited and can only be used for facilities.

The impending sale of the land to the city, she said, means the school district will eventually have more funding for capital improvements.

“We are happy to see this,” she said.

Ravenna Mayor Frank Seman recently said the city has “an immediate need” for expanded facilities for its security forces. That need, he said, became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, when there wasn’t enough space for firefighters to socially distance.

The city police station at 220 Park Way was built in 1920. The security building wing that houses the fire department is newer than the rest of the building, and the dispatch center was renovated in 2010.

The City Hall building at 210 Park Way was originally a supermarket and was purchased by the city approximately 50 years ago.

Now, a recent discussion of a potential expansion of the Portage County Courthouse next door has sparked talk of how long the city’s facilities can remain in their current location.

News that Ravenna is considering new facilities for its government and security forces follows two towns in Portage County taking similar steps.

Kent is building a new town hall on the corner of South Water Street and Haymaker Parkway. This week, the city began demolishing its old police station to make way for the new city hall. In recent years, the city has built new stations for its firefighters and police.

Streetsboro is also in the midst of an urban resort project that will include a new city hall. The project includes a new fire station, which opened in 2021. A new police station has also been built in Streetsboro in recent years.

Journalist Diane Smith can be reached at [email protected] or 330-298-1139.