CANTON – The Canton City School District wants to expand Crenshaw Middle School and it may need to use eminent domain to do it.
The Canton City school board on Monday authorized Superintendent Jeff Talbert to notify Canton Mayor Thomas Bernabei of its intent to acquire a city-owned property that borders Crenshaw’s eastern property line at 2525 19th St. NE. The district is proposing to pay $75,000 for the 8.44-acre property based on an appraisal.
Superintendent Jeff Talbert said the property is needed to expand the school’s running track and field events area and for the future expansion of the middle school.
The school board in April hired AstroTurf for $961,673 to remove the middle school’s existing football field so an artificial turf can be installed and for the removal and replacement of the running track.
The district’s Design for Excellence restructuring plan calls for building an addition at Crenshaw that would serve as a career-technical education hub with dedicated space for industrial arts and computer-assistant design.
Talbert said the school district must send the formal notice due to restrictions on the property. Eminent domain is the power of a governmental entity to acquire property for public use.
“It’s a friendly eminent domain,” Talbert said.
The land, which fronts 19th Street NE, appears to have been part of Herbruck Park, which was established around 1960 to serve a then-fast-growing area that needed recreational facilities.
The school district has purchased at least a dozen acres of the park property over the years as part of its development of Crenshaw, then a junior high school, and a recreation complex that was built in coordination with other community groups, Repository archives show.
According to the district’s letter that will be sent to the mayor, the city has 120 days from the time it receives the offer to accept or reject the offer. If the city rejects the offer or the two entities are unable to come to an agreement, the district may have to exercise its eminent domain authority to appropriate the property, which requires a court procedure, according to the letter.
Summer school presentation, hires and resignations
In other business, the school board on Monday:
- Heard from administrators Elena Monahan and Peggy Savage that the district’s summer learning program attracted roughly 650 students, including nearly 260 high school students who collectively earned 300 class credits that they needed to graduate.
- Accepted the resignations of outreach coordinator Lisa Turkalj-Painter; school safety officer Shawn Overdorf; certified employees Ande’ Green and Andrea Rosewell; child nutrition assistant Tricia Koch; and school resource assistants Anthony Lee and Donald Robinson.
- Accepted the retirements of secretary Mary Poje, effective Sept. 30, and school community worker Debra Berbelis.
- Hired the following 10 certified employees: Charlotte Clevenger, Brian Daley, Corey Daley, Brittney Hall, Lisa Hart, Kristina Johnson, Bradley Kress, Jeffrey Miller, Rochelle Seibert and Caileigh Wilgus.
- Extended the number of contract days for five administrators, from 224 days to 260 days. Talbert said the change will not alter the employee’s salaries but will allow them to carry over unused vacation days into the following year.
- Reappointed Deborah Gosiewski as head cheerleading coach.
- Heard from treasurer Jeff Gruber that the district deposited $1,192 from the American Express credit card rewards program into its main operating fund.
- Heard from a district parent and former employee who asked the school board to consider research about the effectiveness of masks and COVID-19 vaccinations from sources beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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