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City to Buy Douglas Elementary, Starling Middle to be Auctioned

Brent Warren Brent Warren City to Buy Douglas Elementary, Starling Middle to be AuctionedThe former Douglas Alternative Elementary, photo by Brent Warren.
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The former Douglas Alternative Elementary School building, located at 51 S. Douglass St. in Olde Towne East, will hold a new Senior Creative Campus run by the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.

The department will also take over the former Stockbridge Elementary School site on the South Side, and plans to use it to extend the adjacent Stockbridge Park.

The Columbus City Council signed off on a plan for the city to buy both sites at its meeting on July 27.

Kerry Francis, Senior Manager of Communications for Recreation and Parks, confirmed that Douglas would be the new home for the Senior Creative Campus, a program that was run for decades out of a historic schoolhouse in German Village.

That building, at 630 S. Third St., was sold by the city to the Catholic Diocese of Columbus earlier this summer, to be used by the St. Mary School. The programs held there included the Golden Hobby Shop, a gift shop that sold crafts made by seniors.

The city plans to use federal Community Development Block Grant funds to buy the four-acre Douglas site and department funds for the 11-acre Stockbridge site, which is located at 3350 S. Champion Ave.

Francis described the acquisition of the Stockbridge site as “an opportunity for us to expand our existing park that backs up to the existing school grounds…we also plan to plant trees to help this low-canopy area.”

The Columbus Board of Education voted in January to sell five district properties, including Douglas and Stockbridge. Of those five, only one remains unclaimed; the former Starling Middle School building in Franklinton. It will be auctioned off by Columbus City Schools on August 27.

Two other properties – the former Beck Elementary School building in German Village and the former Clearbrook Middle School Building on the Near East Side – are now being used by charter schools. Beck is home to the South Columbus Preparatory Academy and Clearbrook houses United Preparatory Academy East.

The former Douglas Alternative Elementary sits on about four acres. Photo by Brent Warren.
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