Western Row was opened in 1962 and was used by Mason Schools until the end of the just-completed school year.
The leasing deal allows the WCESC an option to purchase the building and campus – at 755 Western Row Road – for an additional $4 million.
Under Ohio law, Mason Schools are not allowed to use the $2.5 million in leasing revenue for operational costs of the 10,000-student district, but school officials said the money will instead go to maintaining infrastructures at other district buildings, including HVAC systems, roofing, parking lots and renovation of some classrooms.
Mason Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper said “we’re glad that the building will continue to be used as an educational home to children, and that this agreement allows us to remain good stewards of taxpayers’ resources and good neighbors to the residents and businesses located near Western Row.”
In 2014, Mason officials sold another former school, Mason Heights Elementary, to Royalmont Academy, a private Catholic school, which began leasing the school in 2012 and later purchased it for $1 million.
Mason has the largest enrollment of any Warren County school system.
Officials said closing Western Row saves approximately $500,000 in operating costs annually, and $14 million in capital investments that would have be needed to bring Western Row up to Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) standards if the school had remained operational.
The school’s closure, they said, is part of the district’s master facilities plan that shrinks the district’s footprint and places over 10,000 students in five schools located in four buildings in the district.