Demolition of Middletown’s Lincoln School on the horizon as city awaits final federal approvals

Lincoln School on Central Avenue is expected to be demolished after final federal reviews are completed. The demolition is expected to happen by the end of the year, city officials said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Lincoln School on Central Avenue is expected to be demolished after final federal reviews are completed. The demolition is expected to happen by the end of the year, city officials said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The fate of Middletown’s former Lincoln School on Central Avenue remains in the hands of the federal government as the proposed demolition project is still under review.

Middletown City Manager Jim Palenick said the city plans to use Community Development Block Grant funding for the demolition after federal approval is received. He said the review has been happening for more than four weeks.

“We still need to do a historical impact study, as there were some objections,” Palenick said.

ExploreFormer Middletown school building slated for demolition this year

The project has already been approved by the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office. That office is requiring that the city salvage anything of historic value from the former school and erect a historic marker at the site after the demolition is completed.

He said a request for proposals is being completed to salvage historic items and for the demolition.

“We hope to have this done by the end of the year,” Palenick said.

Lincoln School on Central Avenue is expected to be demolished after final federal reviews are completed. The demolition is expected to happen by the end of the year, city officials said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Lincoln School on Central Avenue is expected to be demolished after final federal reviews are completed. The demolition is expected to happen by the end of the year, city officials said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Lincoln School was closed in 1980 when students were moved up Central Avenue to Roosevelt Elementary School, which closed in 2008 and was later demolished. It was then sold to Middletown Dental Group, which maintained a dental practice in the building until 2011. Several other small businesses operated out of the building during that time.

The building has been vacant for multiple years, and residents have called it an eyesore because of high weeds. It has also been the site of vandalism, including a fire in December 2015.

The state transferred the property to the county land bank on July 12, 2018, and the land bank transferred the property to the city on July 26, 2018, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office website.

There are two buildings on the 5.53-acre parcel that were both built in 1927, according to the auditor’s office. The primary building contains 38,716 square feet, and the secondary building contains about 3,984 square feet, according to the auditor’s office.

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