Centerville City Schools and Miami Valley Hospital announced a five-year partnership extension that includes the acquisition of 66 acres of land adjacent to Centerville High School.
The land was bought by the district from the hospital for $2.8 million.
So what does the district plan to do with those 66 empty acres?
The short answer is: They don’t know.
District Superintendent Tom Henderson said the purchase agreement was about “planning for the future” with ownership allowing future school boards to plan around district needs.
“One thing for sure is we would like to have another entrance and exit out of the Centerville High School Campus,” Henderson said.
District President Clara Osterhage echoed Henderson, saying there were “no immediate plans” for the land, but the board has had discussions about exit/entrance access to Clyo Road due to traffic and safety concerns.
Last February, a Centerville High School student was placed on a ventilator after being hit by a vehicle while trying to cross the street. No charges were filed against the driver as the student was said to have been crossing improperly.
While pedestrian accidents aren’t a common occurrence at the intersection, events like football games are a “struggle” to exit, Osterhage says.
The district released a question and answer fact sheet about the agreement, stating the opportunity was right to purchase the land, in spite of the district having no immediate intentions on developing the land.
Sharon Howard, Communications Coordinator for Premier Health, said before selling the land to the school district, the health network discussed placing a medical office on the front part of the land, along with receiving offers from several developers about purchasing the land.
Premier decided not to go through with the plans due to the traffic congestion near the school.
“There were several developers interested in the land, but Premier Health felt that Centerville City Schools – with their history for excellence – would derive a greater benefit from the adjoining land,” Howard said.
Centerville City Schools also owns 25 acres of land on Social Row Road, near Sheehan Road, purchased in 2005. The land is being released to a local farmer after remaining unused for 12 years.