Trustees looking to acquire school

Residents complaining about vandalism of building closed since 2005

BRACEVILLE — Township trustees are looking to acquire the former LaBrae Middle School located north of the township hall off Braceville Robinson Road.

Trustees at a special meeting Tuesday approved moving forward to acquire the building, which is in foreclosure and has about $33,000 in unpaid property taxes.

Trustee Dennis Kuchta said they are working with attorney Gil Blair to get the middle school and gymnasium, which is the oldest of the two buildings on the site. Kuchta said Vaughn Elementary located on the back part of the property already was auctioned and acquired by individuals from Akron.

“We hope we can get the school so we can have it cleaned and secured and make it more presentable and sell it. We are constantly getting calls

and complaints from residents in the neighborhood about vandalism there. We want to get it secured because of problems with doors and windows open,” Kuchta said.

He said if the township acquires the property, it will be able to cut the grass there, which also has been a complaint of residents.

The property can be offered to the township, school district or state through the Trumbull County Land Bank, Kuchta said.

“If we can get it, we will move as quickly as possible to clean it up and make it presentable,” Kuchta said, noting if the state were to get it, the process may take longer.

“It has been an eyesore in our community. The front is open and unsafe,” said trustee Jeff Tucker, noting the school is closest to the road and what motorists see when they drive by.

The school was part of the LaBrae Local School District and has been closed since 2005 when the district constructed and opened a new school complex for grades third to 12th behind Bascom Elementary, which houses grades kindergarten to second off North Leavitt Road.

In 2005, when the buildings were auctioned, the middle school was sold for $41,000.

Vaughn Elementary, 544 Braceville Robinson Road, included two buildings on 46.38 acres and was appraised in 2005 at $95,000. The Vaughn property included 19.47 acres of woods behind the school and $19,000 for land and timber; the school and 10 acres of land for $25,000; a running track for $10,000; and vacant land south of track, $17,000.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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