HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) — A proposal to turn an empty elementary school into a private residential school for teenage boys has been withdrawn from Huber Heights.
For nearly three years, LaMendola Elementary School has sat empty.
Since then, neighbors near the school on Tilbury Road have sat and watched the numerous problems arise from the vacant facility.
“There’s been a lot of vandalism,” said Christine Youngerman. “Kids are going up behind the stairs and shooting off BB guns.”
From her porch, Youngerman can see the front doors of the old school.
She is normally one of the first to spot something happening across the lawn.
“Any time I see headlights, I jump up and I look out,” said Youngerman. “There’s a lot of times where I’m up in the middle of the night looking out and just checking things.”
When plans finally came to put the school to use, she was on board.
Now, she’s concerned whether having a private residential school will be the best use.
And, according to the city, the recent proposal from Concept 1 Academy would not have met the standards to be called a school.
“Based on the information Concept 1 provided us, it was determined it did not meet the use,” said Rob Schommer, City Manager for Huber Heights. “And it was recommended that the application for the change be denied.”
Concept 1 Academy co-owner Tari Darr said her group pulled a proposal on Monday. The group is working to get a new proposal completed in the next three weeks to submit to city leaders.
Instead of classes being offered through Sinclair Community College, there will have a high school diploma track and a GED course.
It will still provide housing for up 35 teenage boys with 24 hour security.
Despite the changes, some feel the old school could be put to better use.
“I just don’t know having a kid oriented things up here if that is going to solve any of our problems,” said Youngerman.
Concept 1 Academy says there will be screening process for any students. There will be no referrals from the department of justice or any other troubled youths.