MCS & WCESC Sign WR Lease Agreement

MCS & WCESC Sign Western Row Elementary Lease Agreement
Posted on 06/27/2019

MCS & WCESC Sign Western Row Elementary Lease AgreementDuring its June 25 meeting, the Mason City Schools Board of Education approved a lease agreement with the Warren County Educational Service Center - ensuring that Western Row Elementary will continue to serve area children.


The Warren County ESC will lease the Western Row Elementary building for $2.5 million for ten years, with an option to purchase the property from the Mason City Schools Board of Education for an additional $4 million. The ESC will use the Western Row school facility to expand its classrooms and programs for special education and at-risk students.


“We are glad that the building will continue to be used as an educational home to children, and that this agreement allows us to remain good stewards of taxpayers’ resources and good neighbors to the residents and businesses located near Western Row,” said Jonathan Cooper, Mason City Schools Superintendent.


“We will maintain classrooms that exist in all Warren County school districts, but the Western Row facility will provide many more opportunities to meet the unique learning challenges faced by children with significant disabilities,” said Tom Isaacs, Warren County ESC Superintendent.  “We are very grateful for this partnership with Mason City Schools to continue educating students who are residents of Mason and also from surrounding school districts.”


Built in 1962, the one-story building has 101,000 square feet of classrooms and additional educational spaces that include a gymnasium, cafeteria and library. Located at 755 Western Row Road in Mason, the building is in a very desirable location in Warren County.


The 2018-19 school year was Western Row Elementary’s last year educating Mason City Schools students. Closing Western Row saves approximately $500,000 in operating costs annually, and $14 million in capital investments that would be needed to bring Western Row up to Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) standards.  The closure is part of the district's Master Facilities Plan that shrinks the district's footprint and places over 10,000 students in five schools located in four buildings in the district. According to Ohio law, money from the sale of facilities may not be used for operating expenses. Proceeds from Western Row will be used to maintain Mason City Schools  HVAC systems, roofing and parking lots, and to redesign existing MCS learning spaces to meet the needs of our community’s learners.


In 2014, Mason City Schools officially handed over the keys of another former school, Mason Heights Elementary, to Royalmont Academy. The private Catholic school began leasing the school in the 2012-2013 school year, and purchased Mason Heights for $1 million. 


“Mason City Schools has a long history of innovative collaboration. From our collaboration with the City of Mason in building the Community Center, to the joint venture between Fifth Third Bank and our high school bank, to Atrium Medical Center’s partnership to provide athletic facilities, to the lease-purchase agreement with Royalmont Academy for Mason Heights Elementary, we are proud to think outside the box and use the power of partnership to increase opportunities for our students and community,” said Matt Steele, Board President.

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