Toronto, schools agree on transfer of Karaffa building

TORONTO — City Council has approved an ordinance to finalize and enter into an agreement with the Toronto City School District to purchase the Karaffa Elementary School building for $1.

Members agreed last week to approve the request, noting Mayor John Parker and Attorney Michael Calabria will finalize the agreement, according to officials.

The school district is looking to construct a 40,000-plus-square-foot addition to the existing junior-senior high school that will house preschool through sixth-grade pupils. The Karaffa building then would be conveyed to the city for use as officials see fit, it was noted. The school district would retain a portion of the building for various uses, according to Superintendent Maureen Taggart.

“Our city government and school district have a long history of working together for the greater good of our community,” Taggart said. “This project is just one more example of the common vision we share for a better Toronto.”

“I am so grateful to Mayor John Parker, council President Frank McEwen, City Council and our school board for their willingness to work together to come to an agreement,” Taggart added.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission has offered to enter into the project agreement with the board to aid with the construction of the addition, with the total project cost being $9,940,120. The state’s share of the project is $6,063,473, with the district’s portion at $3,876,647.

A transfer of funds will be made to cover the local share of the project with $1 million, currently in the general fund, and $2,876,647, currently in the building fund, being placed in the classroom facilities fund.

Council also agreed to reschedule the last meeting of the year. It will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 instead of being held on Dec. 25.