Edwin Shaw is getting the mothball treatment.
After trying for two years to sell the 108-acre property and medical buildings in Lakemore, Summit County has decided to shut off the utilities and board up the former tuberculosis hospital, children’s center and cottages.
The county had been spending between $200,000 and $250,000 a year to maintain the property, including $150,000 for heat during the winter. The utilities were kept on to keep the complex in decent condition in hopes that a buyer would come along.
By shuttering the buildings, the county will be able to nearly eliminate its maintenance costs, Jason Dodson, chief of staff for County Executive Russ Pry, told County Council members Monday night.
“Given the lack of interest from the market in the property, we couldn’t justify spending $250,000 a year,” he said.
The county plans to contract with Lakemore to keep an eye on the property and provide snowplow service. The county would pay the village $12,000 a year for the next five years, under an agreement that still needs approval from County Council.
The council is expected to vote on the deal next week.
Lakemore Mayor Rick Justice could not be reached for comment Monday night.
The Edwin Shaw property hasn’t garnered much interest from developers for a variety of reasons, including its location, size and the need to tear down some of the buildings, Dodson said.
A county-hired appraiser had set the land value at $2.4 million, he said, but the cost to raze some of the structures equaled that.
“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to do something with the property because it needs to be put back in productive use,” Dodson said.
At one point, the county was talking with the University of Akron about using the property as a fire training site. Those discussions are ongoing, Dodson said.
He said that the Edwin Shaw Rehab Challenge Golf Course remains open and there are no plans to sell off the small Briar Hill Cemetery on the property.
Edwin Shaw Hospital, originally known as the Springfield Lake Sanatorium, opened in 1915 and treated patients with tuberculosis. Decades later, the county-owned facility was taken over by Akron General Medical Center and used for inpatient rehabilitation.
The rehab operation was relocated to Cuyahoga Falls in late 2009 and renamed the Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.