City to take bids for Simon Kenton

By Scott Halasz -

XENIA — The City of Xenia is ready to decide the future of the former Simon Kenton Elementary School building.

Vacant since June 2013, the building was most recently used via memorandum of understanding by a faith-based group which hoped to turn it into a hub to help fight homelessness, addiction and poverty. However that group, Bridges of Hope, was unable to meet financial benchmarks and the city did not extend the MOU when it expired Dec. 31, 2016.

Bridges of Hope, Dayton-based Community Action Partnership and at least one other not-revealed group are interested in acquiring the building, according to City Manager Brent Merriman, so during a recent council meeting, Xenia decided to publish a request for proposal (RFP), which is often used with regards to construction and other contracted city projects.

“Since there are multiple parties involved … it is important that it’s an open and fair process,” Merriman said.

Bids must include a description of the proposed use, the acquisition arrangement (purchase, lease, etc.), proof of financial means, the impact to Xenia’s job market and economy and a timeline. Merriman said it is a public process and bids are not limited to the three aforementioned entities.

The county auditor’s website indicates the total value of the land and building is $2.3 million with an assessed value of $820,130. However, before selling the city intends to divide the property so it can maintain some land for a future fire station and a road extension.

According to Community Action Partnership COO Cherish Cronmiller, CAP’s vision includes an emergency shelter for single males and females, space for those in transitional housing, and in the cold months, a shelter.

The third interested party provides residential and college preparatory services for foster children.

Merriman recommended an early March deadline for proposals so council can make a final decision by the Thursday, March 23 council meeting.

By Scott Halasz

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.