Put Millikin to good use

Tucked away in the corner of a quiet street between Severn Road and Severance Center, stands the building and land that used to house the Millikin Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. For years, the school was attended by the children of many local residents and had been an asset to the community.

Since 2006, the building, owned by the CH-UH Board of Education, has been vacant. The maintenance and upkeep of the unused property is costing the district tens of thousands of dollars a year. In early 2007, the board placed the Millikin property up for public auction. At the time, the highest bid was well below what was considered “fair market value” and the board determined the best course of action would be to wait until the property can be sold for an amount closer to that value.

While all members of the board want what is best for the district, and its students, there are several opinions on what that would be. The Millikin property can be placed up for public auction again and sold to the highest bidder, a long-term lease can be established or the property can remain vacant until the opportunity presents itself to be sold closer to the “fair market value.”

I am of the opinion that the CH-UH Board of Education should either sell to the current highest bidder, or arrange a long-term lease that would ensure the Millikin building is put to use to serve the local residents. Aside from the expense of maintaining the property, the continued disuse will cause the value to decline. The Millikin building has already been vandalized and vacant properties of this size tend to become a place for individuals to gather and engage in inappropriate behavior. There are educational institutions that are willing and eager to purchase or lease the property, if given the opportunity.

Simcha Geller

Severn Road

Cleveland Heights

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:22 AM, 04.27.2010