GREEN: Rebuilding the fire-gutted one-room Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse could cost as much as $435,900, city officials learned this week.

City Planning Director Wayne Wiethe provided the figures Tuesday during city council committee meetings, saying the original bidding reached close to $590,000 before the city chose to rebid and focus on replacement only rather than replacement and additions to the structure, he termed “an eyesore” now in Boettler Park.

The city administration has asked the council to vote on the project at its May 28 meeting.

Wiethe said the city has received $303,000 from Travelers Insurance, but noted the insurer could provide up to $86,000 more if only items in the former schoolhouse are replaced and additions in the original proposal are eliminated.

Built in 1885, the historic schoolhouse was insured for $380,000, he said, adding that additional funding of $65,700 is being sought from the council.

Destroyed by fire in August 2016, it was used by Green Local Schools for third-graders to experience a week in a one-room classroom with a potbellied stove and volunteer school teachers dressed in vintage clothing, using McGuffey Readers to learn as children did in the past.

The Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office ruled the blaze was an arson. Two adults and three teens from Akron and Springfield Township were arrested two days after the fire and charged with breaking and entering at the facility.

Historical Society secretary Staci Schweikert told the council that the group supports rebuilding the school. Schweikert said she came to Tuesday's council meeting after teaching a group of Green youngsters at the Jackson one-room schoolhouse on Fulton Drive Northwest.

Wiethe said the rebuilt schoolhouse will not have plumbing, which will mean the children will have to use a restroom about 200 feet from the schoolhouse. He said there will be little difference between what was there and what will be there when completed.

He said the historical society would be permitted to store archives and other documents in the basement where the engineering and planning departments and parks division previously stored old records.

“It isn’t going to look a whole lot different [when completed],” Wiethe said. He noted the roof “will be a composite material that will look like slate and the floor will resemble a pine/oak type floor like you would have had in that era.”

Asked about a fire suppression system, Wiethe said there won’t be any unless it would be a chemical system.

 

George W. Davis can be reached at: mediaman@sssnet.com