Board of Education agrees university could be a good fit

Ohio State University recently decided to inquire about the possible purchase of the long-mothballed but strategically located Indianola Middle School, and found a willing seller in the Columbus City Schools.

The school board’s decision to authorize the purchase does not mean that OSU actually has agreed to buy the property just yet. Just that, in theory, it could purchase the property, which is appraised by the Franklin County auditor’s office at $2.35 million.

The decision to give Ohio State the option to purchase the property was discussed at the board’s master planning and facilities committee meeting on June 8. It was approved by the full board the following day.

“The district has made no final decision to sell to Ohio State at this time,” said district spokesman Scott Varner on June 12.

Indianola Middle School, which closed in 2010, is located a mile east of Ohio State. It celebrated its centennial anniversary May 15, 2009. “The building is a strategic acquisition and there is no near-term plan for development,” says university spokesman Dan Hedman.

Varner says Ohio State is just one of a handful of prospective buyers for the building. “Right now, the district and our board of education have not determined which option is best to pursue,” Varner says. “The district has had significant interest from several prospective buyers.”

Varner would not say who the other prospective buyers are.

“At the same time,” Varner adds, “we appreciate the interest and long-standing partnership with the Ohio State University, whose use of the property would benefit education— which is the overall mission of Columbus City Schools.”