Sometimes opportunity knocks and something unexpected comes up that you feel needs to be pursued. In Worthington Schools, we’re in that position right now with a 13.7-acre piece of property that would be an ideal site to build a new Colonial Hills Elementary School on. The property sits off 161 on the east side of the school district and has commonly been known for years as The Harding Property. Currently, the land is owned by the I Am Boundless company.
This blog post is designed to explain our current situation. It will be followed by posts that further explain how we got to this point and the challenges with the current Colonial Hills site.
The Boundless family of companies has nearly 40 years of expertise providing person-centered care to children, adults, and families with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or behavioral health challenges. They have several tracts of land on their property that they are looking to sell and in their words “partner” with a provider. Last spring Boundless issued a RFP for their property.
On March 15th, Worthington Schools responded to the I Am Boundless RFP and Director of Business Services Jeff Eble met twice with their team to discuss the 13.7-acre site on the SE section of their property at the end of Indianola Avenue.
On July 8th, I again met with Boundless regarding our proposal. We discussed our timeline for potentially building a new Colonial Hills elementary in Phase 2 or Phase 3 of our Facilities Master Plan and the potential for Worthington Schools to purchase the land and lease it back to I Am Boundless until we are ready to move forward.
On August 5th, I met with Boundless again and indicated our desire to create a letter of intent to negotiate the purchase of this property.
We’re planning a public meeting to get feedback on this idea for Tuesday, September 3rd at 7:00 P.M. at the Worthington Education Center. We’ll review the challenges with the current site and look at the advantages of the proposed site. Your feedback is important. We’ll listen to your thoughts and concerns. We won’t have all the answers at this point but if nothing else we’ll generate a list of questions we’ll need to answer in the future.
The Harding Property is an opportunity we must explore. This property has always served the public and a school would fit with the natural character that the community expects. We’d love for you to join us on September 3rd to discuss, provide feedback and ask questions.
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent