A lengthy discussion took place during the March 24 City Council Committee Meeting regarding the future of the East Liberty Schoolhouse, near the intersection of state Route 619 and Arlington Road.

A lengthy discussion took place during the March 24 City Council Committee Meeting regarding the future of the East Liberty Schoolhouse, near the intersection of state Route 619 and Arlington Road.

The schoolhouse was the only two-room schoolhouse in Green Township and was built in 1890. It served as a school until 1927. The building has served as several other uses including a furniture shop and was known by some as the District 11 Building.

“I think the schoolhouse has more names than any building I know,” Green City Council President Chris Humphrey said.

The schoolhouse will either be moved or demolished to make way for a proposed Circle K Gas Station at the intersection. Circle K has offered to pay $10,000 to help move the schoolhouse and also said it is willing to work around the schoolhouse for the start of construction.

Staci Schweikert, Secretary for the Green Historical Society gave a presentation regarding the history of the structure. Schweikert said finding a use and moving this schoolhouse should be a future public project.

“If we wait for a private investor, the window of time will be closed,” Schweikert said.

One of the ideas Schweikert presented was moving the structure to East Liberty Park and using it for restrooms. She also suggested moving it to the new Central Park or Veterans Memorial Park.

More than a dozen residents spoke about the schoolhouse all showing support for the building to be moved and not demolished. Many repeated the same theme asking council why they had to plead for the structure’s preservation.

Community member Susan Ridgeway said there are very few schoolhouses left in this area.

“I hope we can find it within ourselves to save this structure,” Ridgeway said.

Liberty House Florist owner Carolyn Patterson about the schoolhouse and her business nearby. She said the schoolhouse should be moved and feels the new Circle K will likely send her business under.

“There is nothing left of East Liberty anymore,” Patterson said.

Councilman Ken Knodel stressed the city does not own the property on which the schoolhouse sits.

“There is not anyone on council that doesn't want the structure,” Knodel said.

Green Local Schools Board Member Katie Stoynoff also spoke in favor or saving the school house structure.

“We cannot look back and say, ‘we should have done that,’” Stoynoff said. “This schoolhouse represents where we started.”

Green Zoning Superintendent Barb Holdren told council the process she has been through with the schoolhouse. She said she first met with Green Mayor Dick Norton in January to discuss options for the schoolhouse along with Parks Superintendent Mike Elkins. Holdren said she has explored many options for moving it and feels the best option may be moving the structure to parcels of land owned by the city north of the florist building.

“I have beaten this up sideways,” Holdren said. “I would like to see us value our history as we continue to progress.”

Moving the schoolhouse down a road through an intersection would be difficult because power lines would have to be dropped and traffic signals would have to come down. Holdren said moving that building to the nearby city-owned land would still cost $100,000. In addition to moving the structure a new foundation would need to be set.

Planning Director Wayne Wiethe besought council to provide some direction for handling the matter of preserving the school house.

“See, here is the central problem with that question,” Humphrey said.  “You're asking someone who is serving on city council who is not an engineer, not in development or not in a building trade to give you an estimate. You want me to tell the planning director here is what I want you to do, come back with numbers.”

Wiethe said he will provide the information on potential costs to move the structure that council wants in two weeks at the next meeting.