Tuesday, December 26, 2006

High School Site Selection

In 2002, the Hilliard Board of Education made the decision to build a third high school on the 'Grener Property', which is 100+ acres of farmland between Cosgray and Leppert Rds, north of Darby High School and east of Homestead Park.

The Board applied for annexation into the City of Hilliard, primarily to gain access to the municipal water/sewer system. But before the first spade of earth was turned, there was suddenly very vocal objections raised to building the high school on that site (including from the newly elected Mayor Don Schonhardt, who had been President of the Hilliard City Council when the annexation was approved). The basis for the opposition was supposedly the amount of traffic it would generate in an area already housing one high school.

The Mayor proposed building instead on a tract of land on Davis Rd owned by developer Dan O'Brien, ignoring the fact that this tract sat in a development moratorium zone. This process proceeded all the way to the preparation of contract drafts for O'Brien, but for some reason, fell to the wayside prior to the construction levy being placed on the ballot.

Instead, the Board announced that it had decided to acquire property near the corner of Walker and Roberts Rds. While this land had been in the hands of the Emmelhainz family for many years, most of the land between the new high school site and the current Hilliard city limits is owned by Homewood Homes. To bring water to the new school, the lines would almost certainly have to be run through the Homewood property.

At about the same time, Mayor Schonhardt revealed his own development maps for the land between Alton-Darby and Walker Rds, showing plans for potentially thousands of homes on the property owned by O'Brien, Homewood and other interested sellers. The Mayor's plans are in conflict with the Big Darby Accord maps for the same area.

So what's going to happen with the Grener property? Never fear, the Mayor has plans for that property too. Which will generate more traffic, a high school or a few hundred houses?

Does this seem all on the up-and-up to you?

1 comment:

  1. If the financing comes through, the Grener property will soon be owned by a non-profit organization called Help All Kids Play, who will be building a sizable soccer complex there. If the big objection to a high school being built there was the traffic, I wonder how folks around there are going to feel about a soccer complex.