The Lakewood Public Schools - 1984: A Compilation of Histories

Chronology of Wilson School Property

October 16, 1944
Correspondence of Law Director and Mayor on Wilson property.
November 16, 1944
Mr. McDonald's letter to Ralph Bailey, Chairman of Planning Commission.
December 13, 1945
Board passed resolution to raze Wilson School.
January 10, 1946
Board appointed Mr. Orchard to conduct auction for razing of Wilson School.
February 11, 1946
Auction for razing of Wilson School.
February 14, 1946
Board accepted bid of M & J Wrecking & Lumber Company in the sum of $2,050 for the razing of Wilson School.
July 11, 1946
Board authorized Buildings, Sites, and Custodians Committee to secure an appraisal of the Wilson property through the Cleveland Real Estate Board.
August 8, 1946
Appearance of Charles Geiger, local merchant, before Board urging the diversion of the property to public rather than commercial use.
December 16, 1946
City Council authorized committee to study feasibility of erecting a new city hall on the Wilson property. The President was authorized to appoint a three-man committee to meet with the Board of Education on the matter.
January 6, 1947
Letter from Chamber of Commerce requesting the Board to delay action on property until Executive Board of Chamber could meet and present their recommendations to the Board.
January 6, 1947
Joint meeting of Committee of Council and Buildings, Sites, and Custodians Committee of the Board. The recommendation of this joint committee was to suggest to the Board that it submit to Council a statement of the conditions and terms upon which it might negotiate with the Council as to the sale and purchase of the property.
January 7, 1947
Letter from Gertrude Fullerton, ClerkTreasurer of the Board, to Henry Rees, Clerk of the Council, stated: "The Boardis willing to sell this property to the City of Lakewood provided the City will pay the same price that can be obtained from any other bona fide purchaser."
January 13, 1947
Chamber of Commerce endorsed purchase of Wilson property by City for possible future development.
April 28, 1947
Joint meeting of Council and Board to consider possibilities of erecting a recreation center on Wilson property. Suggested that committee be appointed jointly by Council and Board for purpose of working out plans to be later submitted to both bodies.
May 29, 1947
Mr. McDonald, President of the Board, and Mr. Fairgrieve, President of the Council, announced personnel of Citizens' Committee.
December 26, 1947
Meeting of Citizens' Committee. Twenty-two representatives of various civic organizations were present. Mr. McDonald served as acting chairman.
January 5, 1948
Organization meeting of Lakewood Civic Planning Committee. Anthony Poss elected chairman. Thirty-one representatives of various civic organizations were present.
August 6, 1948
Eighteen members of Citizens Committee voted unanimously to accept the report of subcommittee headed by George Forbes to sell the Wilson property for commercial development. Some controversy as to whether Committee concurred in report of Forbe's recommendation or merely accepted the report. Poll of 35 of 42 committee members by Chairman Anthony Poss resulted in vote of 34 to one in favor of commercial development of Wilson property.

At the same meeting, sub-committee headed by Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Ewing reported that a questionnaire circulated to determine how many persons would use recreational facilities if they were erected on the Wilson site showed a negative opinion.
October 6, 1948
Meeting of Planning Commission to consider report of City Planning Director Robert Berne recommending commercial usage of Wilson property. The Commission decided to renew its stand favoring the City's acquiring the property for a token consideration.
October 20, 1948
Planning Commission reviewed and approved the Teare plan. Commission moved to submit plan to Civic Planning Committee and to City Council, for examination by both groups.
October 22, 1948
Civic Planning Committee met to consider Planning Commission's plan. Of the 19 members present, 9 voted for further study, 8 against, 2 not voting. Chairman Anthony Poss asked the Planning Commission to call a meeting at which representatives of the Council, Board of Education, Chamber of Commerce, Planning Commission, and Civic Planning Committee would be present.
November 9, 1948
The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce adopted the attached resolution.
November 10, 1948 Open meeting of Planning Commission. Represented were the City Council, Civic Planning Committee, Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Education. Opinion was sharply divided as to the proper disposition of the Wilson property. At this meeting, a resolution from the Chamber of Commerce reversing its stand and urging sale of the Wilson property for commercial use was presented.
November 11, 1948
Resolution for proposed sale of Wilson property approved by Board. (The Board took this action to bring the matter to a head. In other words, the discussion had gone on for a period of years, and no tangible offer had come from the City.)
November 15, 1948
The City Council called the Planning Commission to present its plan. The plan was approved by a vote of 5 to 1. The City Law Director was instructed to prepare a zoning amendment to change the Warren Road half of the Wilson site to the residential classification.
November 19, 1948
Resolution received from Lakewood Joint Veterans Council recommending transfer of property to City for a much needed civic center. (It should be noted that such a proposal was presented to the electorate in November 1945, and was rejected even though it was only for $250,000.)
December 6, 1948
Council re-zones Wilson property - Warren Road half - to residential use.
December 9, 1948
Resolution for sale of Wilson property approved. Notice of sale of Wilson property approved. Notice of sale of Wilson property approved.
December 13, 1948
Lakewood Chamber of Commerce re-affirmed their stand that commercial development of Wilson property would serve best interests of Lakewood.
December 16, 1948
Mayor Kauffman vetoes re-zoning of Wilson property.
December 24, 1948
Notice of sale published in Lakewood Post.
January 5, 1949
The Planning Commission, a committee of Council and four members of the Board of Education met in the Council chambers to discuss the possible disposition of the Wilson property. The meeting consisted largely of the presentation of the Teare plan.
January 6, 1949
Amended resolution of sale passed by Board.
January 7, 1949
Notice of sale published in Lakewood Post.
February 10, 1949
The first auction of the Wilson property was held at 10:00 a.m. One bid in the amount of $50,000 was received from Martin Rini. The evening of February 10th, the Board rejected the bid of Martin Rini, and also passed a resolution to re-advertise the sale of the property.
February 18, 1949
Notice of sale published in Daily Legal News.
April 6, 1949
The second auction was held. No bids were received.
May 25, 1949
The Building Committee, the President of the Board, and the Superintendent met with a committee of Council and Mr. Berne. Only Mr. Fahrenbach and Mr. Berne appeared.
August 25, 1949
The Board held a public meeting in the Board rooms for the advertised purpose of hearing opinions on the proposed sale to specific bidders.
September 8, 1949
The Board accepted the bid of the Warren Center, Inc. in the amount of $116,500 for the Wilson property sUbject to the condition that the necessary change in zoning classification be obtained by March 8, 1950.
September 9, 1949
Letter received from City Council offering to purchase the Wilson property for $25,000.
October 3, 1949
City Council at regular meeting referred the Wilson School property to the Lakewood Planning Commission.
November 2, 1949
Public meeting of Lakewood Planning Commission. The Commission decided to request a recommendation as to the best use of the Wilson School property from the Regional Planning Commission.
November 19, 1949
Regional Planning Commission reported in a survey to the Lakewood Planning Commission that the best possible use for the Wilson site would be for parking purposes. Their second recommendation was for the erection of a City Hall if it could be completed immediately.
December 5, 1949
City Council voted 4 to 2 to deny request of Board of Education for re-zoning of St. Charles side of Wilson property.
December 19, 1949
Councilman Thomas C. Ward proposed to the Lakewood Council that the Wilson School site be leased for a parking lot and playground. The rent to be applied to the eventual purchase price. Council refused to change
zoning for a shopping center.
January 25, 1950
Letter dated January 24th received from Warren Center, Inc. requesting six months extension of time in which to secure rezoning of Warren-Wilson property.
February 28, 1950
Letter dated February 28, 1950 received from Mayor Kauffman stating that the City Council, in meeting on February 20th, had requested him to propose to the Board the rental or leasing of the Wilson property by paying a yearly rental, with a view of purchasing the property at a later date. This rental was to apply on the purchase price. The letter stated that the property would be used in part for playground and in part for parking lot purposes.
March 9, 1950
Letter from Mayor read in Board meeting. Mrs. Abernethy was instructed to reply to the Council that their proposal did not meet the two main objectives of the Board as to the disposition of the property: 1. Liquidation of this capital account investment thus enabling the Board to use the proceeds of an outright sale toward the completion of the building program now under way for the construction of an auditorium and gYmnasium at the high school without creating additional bonded indebtedness. 2. To bring about the development of this property for its highest and best use, by new building construction, as a result of which there would be considerable tax revenue annually accruing to the Lakewood Schools and. to the City of Lakewood.

In this same meeting, the Board adopted a resolution waiving its right to withdraw its acceptance of the offer of the Warren Center, Inc. until June 7, 1950. The Board reserved the right to withdraw its acceptance of the offer to purchase at any time subsequent to June 7, 1950.
May 22, 1950
Meeting held by League of Women Voters to discuss Wilson property.
May 24, 1950
Meeting of Planning Commission to hear discussion of re-zoning.
June 5, 1950
Council meeting. Council voted 4 to 3 for re-zoning Wilson property for commercial purposes.
June 15, 1950
Board approved amended agreement to sell property to Warren Center, Inc. extending time to December 1, 1950.
June 18, 1950
Petition for injunction and relief started by George E. Rich in the Court of Common Pleas.
January 11, 1951
Resolution authorizing return of deposit and terminating agreement with Warren Center, Inc.
May 21, 1951
Lakewood City Council passed resolution offering to purchase Wilson property for $85,000.00.
May 23, 1951
Resolution by Board accepting the offer of the Lakewood City Council to purchase Wilson School property.
June 15, 1951
Agreement between Lakewood City and Board of Education on the sale of the Wilson School property at $85,000.00.
July 19, 1951
Board was informed that the check for $85,000.00 to be paid by the City of Lakewood was delayed due to a cloud on the title of the property. This cloud was caused by the law suit filed by Mr. George Rich. Law Director Ross reported that Mr. Rich would withdraw his suit so that the title could be cleared and payment made.
August 2, 1951
Deed to Wilson property signed by T. D. Auble, President, and Gertrude Fullerton, Clerk.
August 6, 1951
Check for $85,000 with deed for Wilson property delivered to Mayor Amos I. Kauffman.
November 18, 1957
Lakewood City Council authorized negotiations with the Board of Education to ascertain if Board desired to purchase the Wilson School property at $85,000 under terms of agreement of June 15, 1951.
December 2, 1957
Letter received from Mayor Frank Celeste concerning the above action by Lakewood City Council. A resolution was suggested if the Board desired or declined to exercise option of purchase at the December Board meeting.

Dr. Richard A. Boyd, Superintendent of the Lakewood Schools, researched and wrote the chronology of the disposition of the Wilson School property (between Detroit Road and Franklin Blvd., Warren Road and St. Charles Avenue). Wilson School, originally called the "(second separate) High School," was constructed in 1904 and razed in 1947.