(Posted Jan. 11, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Demolition of the old school, gymnasium, and boiler room owned by the city of London could start as soon as Jan. 27.
City administrators recently met with Excavating of Ohio to discuss the project schedule. The city’s youth basketball program, which uses the old gym, wraps up on Jan. 14. The week of Jan. 23, the excavating company will bring in equipment, put up fencing, and prepare for demolition.
The city has until Jan. 26 to remove items they want to keep from the buildings. Among the items likely to be removed for potential sale on govdeals.com are furnaces, dividing curtains, backboards, and scoreboards. The city also plans to retain the copper overhangs from above the doors.
“Anytime from Jan. 27 on, they will start demo if they are ready and the city is ready to go,” said Mayor Patrick Closser.
Closser noted that the bus garage, the buildings that house the ESC and London Visual Arts Guild, and the bell that sits at the corner of First and Walnut streets will stay intact.
City leaders have discussed the possibility of making bricks and gym floor planking available for the public to take as memorabilia. When details are finalized, information will be posted on the city’s social media pages and website, www.londonohio.gov.
As the youth basketball season comes to a close, London’s parks and recreation department is gearing up for its youth indoor volleyball season. Because the gym will no longer be available for use, Landon McKenzie, department director, has made arrangements for volleyball practices and games to take place in the wood gym and the blue gym at London Elementary School.
Practices will start March 8, about five weeks later than the program has started in the past. This is due to school teams and travel teams using the elementary school gym space through the end of February.
“We will still have an eight- or nine-week season. The start time has just shifted,” McKenzie said.
Approximately 130 youths took part in the city’s youth volleyball league last year. McKenzie said he expects the same number or more to participate this year.
A total of 297 youths took part in the basketball program this year.
Other city news
At their Jan. 5 meeting, council members held a second reading on legislation to place a 0.25 percent income tax request on the May 2 ballot for funding for the fire and EMS department. The legislation will be up for a third reading and vote at council’s Jan. 19 meeting. The deadline to file issues with the Board of Elections for the May election is Feb. 1.
According to council member Rich Hays, representatives from London’s Board of Public Utilities, various city department heads, and engineers will attend the Jan. 19 council meeting to outline what will be done over the next three years regarding the city’s water and sewer services and the getting the new water plant up and running.