XENIA — The future of the former Simon Kenton Elementary School building could become more clear Thursday night.
Xenia City Council will hear an update from a representative of Simon Kenton Bridges of Hope, a coalition of Greene County service organizations, churches and pastors who hope to convert the building into a community ministry hub to connect needy persons to life-enriching services.
The coalition developed a three-phase plan and amended it to a two-phase plan and — through a memorandum of understanding — was given access and limited use of the city-owned building to try and make the project work.
The building served as the elementary school from 1975 until 2012. The 39,000 square-foot building is still in reasonably good condition and although Xenia City Council has extended a moratorium on its demolition a few times, is unlikely to do so again.
The latest moratorium expired Sept. 30 and earlier this year City Manager Brent Merriman and council made it clear there would be no further extensions as the city does not want to maintain the building through another winter.
Initial estimates project the start-up process and three year’s worth of operating expenses for the coalition will cost $1.53 million. Members of the group have worked to secure investors and run a capital campaign.
One previous blueprint for the building’s usage — which was shared at a open house in January — shows several classrooms and meeting areas, space for an after-school program, the Jeremiah Tree, shelters for men, women and families, a TV/lounge area, a food pantry, a kitchen, marriage resource center and Circles Greene County.