Champion OKs Central property transfer to township

CHAMPION — With Central Elementary School on state Route 45 demolished, the Champion school board Monday approved the final official exchange of a nine-acre property to the township.

Board President John Pitts said the property is no longer needed for school purposes and has been removed from the inventory of the school district properties. Treasurer Laurena Rouan also terminated all insurance coverage on the property.

The board approved paying $960 for closing costs as part of the property sale and transfer.

Rouan said the district will retain the bus garage property located near the school site.

The district closed the 100-year-old Central Elementary School in spring 2018 with the opening of the new PK-8 School complex on Route 45 near the high school. The elementary school was the oldest of the three buildings in the district.

The school was demolished late last year and the ground leveled.

Pitts said the township officially received the property June 12.

Trustee Chairman Rex Fee said the township sold 22 acres of land north of the cemetery to the district for $106,000 for the new school complex. In exchange, the district transferred the Central school property to the township.

Trustees at their last meeting said they are not sure what use the property will have, but past discussions have included a new township administration building to house road, fire, police and zoning departments, or a possible park.

The board passed a resolution that the Champion soccer league and other groups that use the fields on the property need to fill out a facility use agreement and hold-harmless liability form.

In another matter, the board entered into a $1 ground lease agreement with the Champion Athletic Club for property on Alva Avenue near the former middle school before it was demolished last year.

Superintendent Pamela Hood said the district has had the lease with the club for the past 12 years.

Hood said 22 of the 29 acres that belong to the district are used by the club, which has put in drainage and other improvements on the property.

“This lease lets the Champion Athletic Club be the managers of the 22 acres. If another group wants to come in and use the area, it will be up to the club — not the board — to make the decision on who uses it,” Hood said.

She said the property has a metered water connection for which the club pays.

Hood said the club also, as part of the new agreement, mows the 29 acres and now will mow the seven acres where the former middle school used to be.