Erie School District selling former Irving School property to low-income housing developer

Local News

The vacant former Irving School property may transform the value of a neighborhood. The Erie School District is selling the unused building to a developer of low-income housing.

Several neighbors are saying this transition will add security to the area and, of course, value to their own property.

The 124-year old Irving School building will soon be wiped out.

The Erie School Board unanimously approved a $400,000 deal with a prospective buyer called “Woda Cooper Development” based out of Columbus, Ohio.

Neighbors like Anthony Sherrell see this as a solution to some serious problems.

“I’m talking about people doing heroin and stuff like that, it’s got to be because I’m finding the needles. My dog or grandkids could get on that stuff, so more security would cut a lot of that out because it’ll be more lighting,” said Anthony Sherrell, Erie resident.

Sherrell and others are saying the possible development may uplift the area.

“Home over there would be great, especially if it’s assisted living because that’s going to put more security in neighborhoods. Maybe it’ll start going back up so my property value can go back up, you know?” Sherrell said.

“I’d say it’s a good idea because, let’s face it, a lot of people are losing their homes because they can’t afford to keep the payments up and property taxes are going through the roof,” said David Strazisar, Resident of Erie.

Officials at the Erie School District say the transformation of the building will add value to the neighborhood.

Neil Brokman, Executive Director of Operations at the Erie School District, says it’s exciting for this property and other school district properties like Roosevelt to be reused. He does understand the possible attachment to the schools.

“There’s obviously attachment to each of those schools and there has been. We’re not trying to do that. Unfortunately, with declining in enrollment in some of those areas, as well as the conditions of the building, it made sense to close those schools when they did,” Brokman said.

Brokman says whatever housing project it is, it will put value back into the neighborhood.

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