Former Lincoln School, a ‘source of concern for neighbors,’ to be demolished in coming months

The oldest still-standing school building in Middletown and a “source of concern for neighbors” because of vandalism is set to be demolished in the coming months, according to a city official.

The former Lincoln School, built in 1927, will be leveled after historic items are removed from the building at 2402 Central Ave. The city is seeking bids from companies to remove items from the building and for demolition with a deadline of March 23, said Susan Cohen, administrative services director for the city.

The project has 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 auction those items off to the public.

She said once the project is awarded, the demolition company will have 40 days for completion. That means, depending on weather, the project should be complete in May.

The “very ballpark” demolition cost is $150,000 to $200,000, Cohen said. The cost will be covered by interest the city generated through its Community Development Block Grant.

It’s important to demolish the building because it has created a “level of blight” in the neighborhood, Cohen said. She believes once the building is leveled there can be future development on the site.

Lincoln School closed in 1980 when students were moved up Central Avenue to Roosevelt Elementary School, which closed in 2008 and was later demolished. Lincoln 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 local residents have called it an eyesore and it has 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, 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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