MANSFIELD — Prospect Elementary School is slated for demolition.
The Mansfield City Schools board of education voted Tuesday to approve a contract with Advanced Demolition Services, LLC to abate and demolish the building, located at 485 Gilbert Avenue.
Treasurer Tacy Courtright said the district issued a request for competitive proposals and received five. Advanced Demolition's bid came in at $476,308.50.
"(Facilities manager Robert) Booth and I both evaluated those individually and actually came up with very similar results," Courtright said.
"It was not the cheapest, but (Advanced Demolition Services) has done six school districts in the last 18 months, so it has a good track record."
The project will be executed under a lease-leaseback agreement, which means Advanced Demolition will take control over the property for the duration of the project. The district will receive the property back as green space.
Prospect Elementary closed permanently at the end of the 2021-2022 school year as part of a district reconfiguration plan. Third graders from Prospect Elementary School joined their peers at Malabar, while the school's remaining classes merged with Woodland Elementary.
Supt. Stan Jefferson and board members have stated the district needed to close some of its aging facilities in the face of declining enrollment.
“The fewer campuses we have, the more efficient we can be and the more unified (student) experiences can be,” Jefferson said in March 2022.
“At the end of the day, we should be putting money into curriculum and instruction and not putting that money into repairs."
Booth, who has been with the district 34 years, said Prospect Elementary was identified as the best candidate for building closure during an engineering study in 2018.
Booth told Richland Source in March 2022 it likely would have cost $1 million to fix Prospect's roof.
Courtright said district leaders did discuss selling or renovating the building, but decided the necessary repairs made it cost prohibitive.
"Based on the building and its age and the amount of asbestos in it, it really would be more of a liability to someone," she said.
The abatement and demolition likely won't start until May, but should be completed by July 31, Courtright told board members. District officials are having discussions about a potential farewell event for the public before the work begins.
“We do anticipate having some closure for that building, allowing some people to see the building, have some kind of community activity for that, before it comes down," Courtright said.
She added the district doesn't have a plan for what to do with the property yet.
The board also voted to purchase three school buses through the Ohio Schools Council, a group purchasing agency.
Courtright said the district typically replaces one to two buses a year. Funds for a third bus will come from an insurance payout the district received after one of its buses was totaled during an accident in the fall.