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Akron schools to get animal shelter back

By John Published: August 9, 2010

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron schools soon will add a vacant dog pound to their inventory of buildings.

The district is reclaiming the property, about an acre, that it once owned at 460 E. North St.

In the mid-1950s, the school board gave Summit County the property and a building for a dog pound with the provision that if it ever ceased to be a pound, the district would get it back.

The county's Division of Animal Control is moving to a new nearly $3 million animal shelter at 250 Opportunity Parkway in Akron. It is expected to open at the end of August.

The school board voted Monday night to accept the transfer. The County Council, now in recess, also will have to approve the transfer.

''Probably in September or October, we're going to be introducing legislation to them in order to transfer the property from the county back over to the school district,'' said Jason Dodson, chief of staff for County Executive Russ Pry.

County tax records show the one-story frame building (constructed in 1935 with a concrete block addition built by the county in 1964) and property are valued at $230,470.

Akron Public Schools deeded the property to the county in June 1956, according to the district, which has a bus garage and a warehouse next door.

The building could be demolished at the district's expense, or it could be used to consolidate offices for the district's maintenance and buildings and grounds operations, said Paul Flesher, the district's executive director of facility planning and capital improvement.

''I don't know if it's a liability,'' Flesher said. ''There's probably opportunity there, too.''

A 2004 National Animal Control Association audit recommended a new shelter after finding numerous problems at the cramped North Street site.

''It was never particularly well suited for the purposes of being the animal control shelter,'' Dodson said.

The new shelter, just south of downtown Akron, will be able to house more than 80 dogs and 60 cats. It will include a lobby, an adoption area, a veterinary clinic, offices and a larger parking area.

John Higgins can be reached at 330-996-3792 or Read the education blog at



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