CH-UH School Board president Karen Jones announced at that the district will discuss a long-term lease of Millikin with Mosdos Ohr Hatorah.
The met in executive session at 6 p.m. before the regularly scheduled work session at 7 p.m. at . Jones had said at a that the board would consider putting the former Millikin School, which has been vacant since 2006, up for public auction.
Instead, the board decided to "initiate entering into negotiations of a long-term lease," Jones said.
"This is the first option that will be made available," Jones said. "(A public auction) is not off the table."
Alan Rapoport, a former Cleveland Heights mayor who represents Mosdos Ohr Hatorah, said he wasn't expecting that announcement.
"I honestly don't know exactly what to say about it ... I thought that they might decide to put it up for auction," Rapoport said after the four-and-a-half hour meeting. "I'm an optimist ... they did not say that they would or would not sell."
He said he and lawyers with the district would likely meet in the near future.
"Obviously they have a preference of discussing a lease, but that's not new," Rapoport said, explaining he heard that a few months ago. "My response at the time was that we were open to discussing possible options, and I don't feel any different now. From Mosdos' point of view, the bottom line is that they'd like to educate their children in that building. And the different ways of achieving that objective, all of those could be considered."
The community has attended and meetings since February, urging the CH-UH School Board to the approximately 11-acre property for $550,000, and to make sure a call center didn’t move in.
Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley confirmed the call center initially interested in the property has a for the former at 3008 Monticello Blvd., owned by Sarver Realty.
The private Orthodox Jewish School would like to move its K-8 boys school and boys and girls preschools into Millikin, a 46,555 square-foot building with a 6,500 square-foot storage barn behind it, and sell its boys school on Warrensville Center Road, said Rabbi Baruch Chaim Manies, executive director. The K-12 girls division would remain at its school on South Taylor Road.
School board and city officials discussed Millikin extensively at a meeting Monday night that included representatives from Cleveland Heights, University Heights and South Euclid city councils and the CH-UH School Board. for more.
Look for more highlights from Tuesday night's work session soon.
What do you think about the decision? Should the district lease to Mosdos or put the building up for public auction? Tell us in the comments.