XENIA —The old Greene County Career Center property, located at 2960 W. Enon Road in Xenia, sold at public auction Wednesday to an HVAC CEO for $1.6 million.
The property, which encompasses four buildings and more than 45 acres, was offered online and in-person by Sheridan & Associates. Bidding started at $500,000.
Though no longer in the hands of the Greene County Career Center (pending board approval), the facility will continue to serve kids in vocations for years to come. Buyer Kip Morris, CEO of Five Star Heating and Cooling Group, plans to reopen the building as a trade school, geared towards serving vulnerable youth populations and those in addiction recovery.
“Welding, electrical, heating and cooling,” Morris said. “We’re going to make this training available to at risk youth, kids who are aging out of foster care. We’re in the middle of an epidemic as far as addiction. People go through that, they get cleaned up, but they need to have a good trade.”
Morris owns 22 heating and cooling companies and business partners in roofing and plumbing are also slated to help build the prospective new school. Morris, whose father started a heating and cooling company in 1972, said he had wanted to start a similar trade school for a while.
“There’s a high potential to help people out,” he said. “We want God to help people in this building.”
Superintendent Dave Deskins said he was “thrilled” that the facility would continue to be used as a trade school.
“That’s really exciting to us,” Deskins said. “The board didn’t want the building to stay out here and not be occupied, not have good use or purpose. We’re thrilled that it’ll have a purpose to serve our community, and we’ll be able to help carry on the trade interests that we provide for kids.”
Once the sale is finalized, the money will go back into a permanent improvement fund for the career center, to be used for improving technology, equipment, and recouping monies spent on the new facility, Deskins said.
The property is currently zoned for education and does not require property tax. The buyer must contact the Greene County auditor to reappraise the property, as well as apply for rezoning. This process is expected to take about four months, at which time the respective parties will close on the sale.
“We do think there is a great opportunity for the buyer of this property,” said Matt Sheridan, who oversaw Wednesday’s bidding. “It’s a neat program that I believe the buyer is going to use this property for, and we’re excited about that.”
The sale is pending approval of the Board of Education, which will likely accept the offer at its March 10 meeting.
Per Ohio law, the property was offered to other area public and private schools before being put up for public auction. The contents of the building were auctioned off Feb. 17.
Students officially began taking classes at the Career Center’s new facility on Aug. 25, 2020. The $70 million facility encompasses 264,000 square feet, and constitutes a state-of-the art learning space for its approximately 730 students.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.