MANSFIELD -- It appears the City of Mansfield is ready to hand over the former Ocie Hill Community Center to the Richland County Land Bank.
That move could lead to its demolition and potential new usage for the property at 445 Bowman St.
According to a request for legislation, on Nov. 3 City Council will vote to approve transfer of the property to the Richland County Land Bank.
More than a year after the building was closed by the city, nothing has been done with the century-old former school and neighborhood center.
Richland Source reported in August that vandals had recently hit the structure, breaking out windows and entering the facility. There were reports people have been sleeping inside the building.
A door in the rear of the building was also found unlocked when the Source checked the property and the lights were on inside.
The building is named for Ocie Hill, the first Black resident to be elected to Mansfield City Council and the longest serving individual on council in the history of Mansfield, serving from 1961 to 1991.
Throughout the years the structure has been known as the Creveling School, the Mansfield Opportunities Industrial Center, the Human Resource Bureau and the Neighborhood Youth Corps.
In 1996, it was renamed for Hill, whose photo still hangs in council chambers.
The city purchased the building in 1988 and it was home to more than a dozen non-profit and government agencies. It also has a gymnasium that was used by children and hosted after school-programs like the Culliver Reading Center.
This is a developing story and may be updated later this evening.