Toledo Talk

Tearing Down Libbey

Tearing Down Libbey

Near the end of the OSFC (Ohio Schools Facilities Commission) meeting in Room 309 (“The Decision Room”) at the Board of Education, I posed a question that many of my colleagues do not want to hear. We are trying to save the buildings at the Libbey campus. The Board of Education wants to tear them down (unless someone with deep pockets comes to the rescue) to save the expense of protecting these structures and the fools that would trespass in them. My question to Lisa Sobieki was: What will happen if these buildings are torn down? Would they turn the land into a “brown field” that would sit unused for years? We have been told that we were too late in the process to save Libbey but when should we involve ourselves in what happens after Libbey is torn down? She said we should be involved today.

So anyone have any thoughts on this. If Libbey is found to be riddled with contaminants should we pay the additional thousands or millions to remediate the toxins or leave it standing as is? The estimated cost for demolition is $1.7 million (of which TPS is responsible for 22 percent, and the state of Ohio will cover the remaining 78 percent if the demolition is finished by Dec. 12, 2011). I imagine if problems are found with contaminants in the building then the cost of tearing it down will go up. Anyone have any experience with this? I am sure that other schools have been torn down in the past that had asbestos and other contaminants in them. I have heard that sometimes the best course is to not disturb the contaminants while the building is in use.

created by oldsendbrdy on Feb 15, 2011 at 12:28:01 pm     Education     Comments: 87

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Comments ... #

Public garden?

posted by INeedCoffee on Feb 15, 2011 at 12:42:14 pm     #  

I'm thinking if the land is not too contaminated it will end up as the Edward Drummond Libbey Municipal Park. That is if TPS can get the city to take the land off of its hands.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 15, 2011 at 12:54:36 pm     #  

Just a thought, but if the structure is torn down, then the cost to purchase just the land, especially in Toledo's depressed market, will be much less. Perhaps the group involved in the effots can purchase the property which will then give them the time to develop a long-term plan for how to use it. In the meantime, they can seek volunteers from the concerned neighborhood for a park, or garden or growing veggies or dog park, or whatever.

The city cannot afford to maintain the parks it already has, so I hope the taxpayers won't have to spend more money for a new one, no matter how nice it might be for that option.

posted by MaggieThurber on Feb 15, 2011 at 01:23:31 pm     #  

TPS is required to offer these properties to charter schools for their use. If they are offered at these values I wonder if the schools could afford these prices.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 15, 2011 at 01:36:12 pm     #  

All the above schools are scheduled for demolition when buyers cannot be found for them. We will have a lot of empty fields in which to dump dead bodies. The Bd of Ed does have a financial responsibility to the taxpayers, and they are trying to save the 78% they will have to pay if they do not get the job done by Dec. 12, 2011 unless the Kasich administration gives them an extension. The press of time does not seem to allow them to market these properties for the thousands and millions they say they are worth.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 15, 2011 at 01:40:56 pm     #  

If TPS cannot dump the land into the city's lap, or dump it onto the private market thus depressing real estate prices even further, will they still have legal responsibility for what happens on their "vacant" lands?

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 15, 2011 at 02:16:51 pm     #  

Large piece of property considering the school and football field. No one locally would want to buy that land in a depressed area of town. There is no demand and not many practical purposes that would generate money for the owner.

posted by Hoops on Feb 15, 2011 at 07:23:37 pm     #  

A lot of acreage will be there for cornfields and scarecrows.

posted by Wulf on Feb 15, 2011 at 08:17:15 pm     #  

I could not find it on AREIS but someone said the sq.ft . of floor space was 204,000 just in the old building. If they are careful with the demolition they can probably salvage a lot of the marble.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:19:36 pm     #  

Doesn't the demolition contractor get first dibs on salvage rights to anything they want to sell. That is unless the building owner guts it of anything valuable.
Buy your rat traps when this thing does come down, plenty of critters to scurry

posted by Hoops on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:37:24 am     #  

They are going to have an auction. Much that will affect the historical value of the property (if it were able to be designated a historical structure with the tax benefits of such a designation) will be lost when many of the fixtures are auctioned off. Artwork that was with the original building is now gone, and no one seems to know where it is. Trophies that were team trophies are supposed to stay with the school system. Efforts are being made to find individual trophy winners, and unite them with their trophies. From what we were told when Scott was in flux many of the trophies disappeared. Both Scott and Libbey produced great teams. Their history is disappearing.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 16, 2011 at 09:42:07 pm     #  

I could not find it on AREIS but someone said the sq.ft . of floor space was 204,000 just in the old building. If they are careful with the demolition they can probably salvage a lot of the marble.


Summary - Attributes

State Class : EX-BdOfEd Prim. Struct. : HighSchool
Prop. Type : Schools Acres : 35.01 Stories : 4
GBA : 357993 Year Built : 1923 Living Units : 0

It appears like 35 acres and 357993 sq ft (GBA).

posted by 6th_Floor on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:23:54 pm     #  

Looking forward to the new Scott High.

posted by toledolen_ on Feb 17, 2011 at 12:05:09 am     #  

Thanks, 6th_floor, there were three separate parcel numbers for the property. The figures you provided showed up under parcel number 1873661 rather than 1873663 or 1873667 which show up without any figures for me. I assumed the assessor number "05202016.V" covered all the property. What does the "v" mean? If I look a little further I would have found the figures you provided under assessor "05202016.0". I've heard the total property is 44 acres. Should all the area show up under "05202016" or could there be additional acreage under the other two desciptions that are not be provided?

posted by oldsendbrdy on Feb 17, 2011 at 12:33:02 pm     #  

City Proposes To Buy Part of Libbey High Campus

The mayor and council constantly cry we have no money. Then a story like this comes along....and appears. And we'll get more money from the federal government too--if we get an old school listed on the National Register of Historic Places (keep dreaming--Libbey is not of national importance in any way).

Doesn't look like this is winning too many fans among Blade readers either--and I can't argue with any of these points:

Hillcrest Hotel--The city of Toledo (taxpayers) is still paying one million dollars a year for that great real estate investment. Yes lets do that again! Are we ever going to learn?

At what point will these fools start to listen to the people ??? Toledo does not need more headaches. They wonder why people are getting the hell out of the city and county. They keep wasting Tax dollars and not listening to the tax payers. Just to name a few things the Tax payers said no to, Erie Street Market, Cosi, Tarta, Reynolds road beatification (yeah right what a dump that’s becoming thanks Carty) Now the messing up the deal at the docks....They raise taxes on you people and keep giving you less.

Let the groups buy the property...The city buying and maintaining a center. Erie St. Market comes to mind, that gold mine has cost the city how much and the return on the investment is what?

How can the city justify putting out money on a large piece of real estate that will just cost in utilities and upkeep while producing absolutely no income.....They can always place another tax on the homeowners backs to support this albatross. Just call it another garbage-sewage-water-whatever increase that can be piped directly to these Cons!

posted by oldhometown on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:02:40 pm     #  

What is it about Libbey that is so historic or interesting? The building isn't that great to look at, nothing really important ever happened there that hasn't happened in every single other school in America, and the area isn't prime real estate.
Nostalgic-yes, historic-no.
I haven't heard one good reason to save the area. I'd rather put the effort towards improving the marina distric and ending that eyesore for the city.

posted by hockeyfan on Apr 24, 2011 at 01:20:33 am     #  

It takes money to maintain the property, let alone the continual operating expense. It's in such a great neighborhood, people will come from all over to use it.

posted by Hoops on Apr 24, 2011 at 08:46:29 am     #  

Maybe the city looked at the cost of maintaining it vs. the cost of "maintaining" the dumping ground for bodies if torn down, and decided it is cheaper to have it occupied by non-profits than patrolling a "dead zone".

posted by oldsendbrdy on Apr 24, 2011 at 11:22:23 am     #  

...the cost of maintaining it vs. the cost of "maintaining" the dumping ground for bodies if torn down...

That is the choice?!?!?! Classy. Speaks volumes about the neighborhood. Wonder why no private entity is willing to invest?

How many "community centers" do we need? A simple Google search turns up like 7-10 different types within about a 3 mile radius of Libbey, including Cordelia Martin Health Center & Aurora Gonzalez Center both roughly one mile away from Libbey. Will these entities merge into the Libbey building? In fact, does anyone have firm, contracted commitments from all these alleged non-profits who are going to move in? Is this one of those pet projects that is "great....for other people"? There are only so many groups who need space on a continual basis in that part of town...and there is a hell of a lot of space to fill up. Also, will these non-profits pay rent that covers the cost of maintenance or will they only move if the space and maintenance costs are continually gifted to them from the city (i.e. taxpayers)?

This reminds me of the crowd that wanted to save Tiger Stadium and had all kinds of plans, projections, etc. They were going to get state grants, federal grants, community organizations were going to move in, a Michigan sports Hall of Fame with Ernie Harwell's memorabilia, yada yada yada. I was sad to see something of my youth be torn down, but in the end, there were no tenants and no money after 10 years of fighting the fight. There was no reason to keep it other than personal memories...and that makes no sense for the greater community at large that is struggling to pay its bills and already has several real estate holdings.

posted by oldhometown on Apr 24, 2011 at 02:11:40 pm     #  

I don't see Libbey being used as a charter school or any other kind of useful enterprise. Buying the property and maintaining it would be cost-prohibitive. Since it was built in the early 1920s and has an old boiler system, a licensed operator is required and heating costs are high. No air conditioning means it's miserable in the summer. Physically, it's just a huge, old, worn-out building.

If the school is torn down, I think the school board would still be responsible for maintaining the land if they can't sell it.

I doubt Libbey could make the "grade" for placement on a historic register or preservation society. There's nothing unique about the design or physical structure and no historical significance that I can think of.

posted by shortysmom on Apr 24, 2011 at 05:11:52 pm     #  

Another shining example of how the City of Toledo takes care of property it owns.

If it was private property, it would be condemned.

posted by oldhometown on Apr 25, 2011 at 01:32:06 pm     #  

"I was sad to see something of my youth be torn There was no reason to keep it other than personal memories...and that makes no sense for the greater community at large that is struggling to pay its bills and already has several real estate holdings."

I agree that it is for sentimental reasons they want to save Libbey. Therefore, it is not financially feasible to save it. Unless Libbey alumni want to pitch in and save it with their own money.

posted by renegade on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:26:44 pm     #  

People are letting sentiment get in the way of good practical money sense.

posted by OhioKimono on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:46:11 pm     #  

As much as I dislike historic buildings being demolished, it isn't possible to save every building.

Toledo still has Devillbiss, Scott, and Waite high schools. Also, Central Catholic is a historic school.

posted by 6th_Floor on Apr 26, 2011 at 02:39:18 am     #  

Why doesn't an arsonist just set the entire place on fire and save everyone a ton of time and money.

posted by hockeyfan on Apr 26, 2011 at 01:43:14 pm     #   3 people liked this

Just watched the TPS school board meeting. Those idiots just approved (4-0, Jack Ford wasn't there) loaning the city $1 million to improve the property (to be used as a community center)and allowing the city to pay the money back over 3 years at an almost negligible interest rate. The city is only interested in the field house and the skills center. City council hasn't even approved the proposal yet. If the city's so damned broke they can't pay for the improvements, what are the chances of that loan getting paid back? As a TPS taxpayer, I'm plenty pissed.

posted by shortysmom on Apr 26, 2011 at 07:20:44 pm     #  

How many school supplies for schools that are still open could one million dollars buy at, oh, say Target?

How many backlogged maintenance issues at schools that are still open could one million dollars fix?

Someone has to ask...

posted by oldhometown on Apr 26, 2011 at 09:53:01 pm     #   1 person liked this

Shorty, the answer is to vote against their next levy request (likely November 2011), as well as voting against current board members in all future elections.

Following typical Toledo folly, they won't even be saving the core of the building. This has turned into a much larger issue than it needs to be.

posted by 6th_Floor on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:08:25 pm     #   1 person liked this

Please post on site and get out on the Internet! Spread the word!

Hello, People who want to turn our city around!

Yes, the auction is drawing near and we hope that you are all working whatever you have in the arsenal. Let's start the fire by checking out the free glassblowing Friday night at the Art Museum just for fun?

The artist gives a lecture at 6 pm on Friday, May 13th, at the Art Museum, then 7-10 pm is the glassblowing Museum. We are used to hot air. There may be other free activities.

If we can't keep this school from an auction, its historical value and the money available to repair it- a 20 per cent tax credit for a potential owner -will be lost. How can TPS be so stubborn? Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Owens College leaders, UT leaders, County Commissioners leaders in commerce are still working for us, but they need time. She actually had us meet with the Assistant Secretary of State last Friday to discuss how to get the big dollars for projects there.

How can TPS deny Toledo the opportunity that the Libbey campus can offer to the community when taxpayers have to pay between 1-2 million dollars to have it knocked down when it is worth several million dollars?

Then, let's get fired up.

We need you more than ever! Or ask what you can do! Come to the meeting Saturday, MaY 14th, at 10:30 am at the Toledo Heights Library at Highland Park. Work those phones. Write those letters and share your inspiration!

These are truly dark days without you carrying the torch!

Look for your inspiration! But, to act on what you learn is all that matters!

Bet you didn't know?
When Mr. Libbey died (11-1925) the flag in front of Libbey High School was not the only flag at half-mast; but, all flags in Toledo were put at half-mast and the schools were closed. Newspaper headlines were huge. That is how strong was the outpouring of grief and the effect that he had on the community.

At the same time as Mr. Libbey’s funeral service in the Toledo Museum of Art, 50,000 Toledo public and parochial students held memorial programs in their individual buildings. (Toledo Blade, November 16,1925)

As a tribute to Mr. Libbey at his funeral there was an honor guard of Libbey High School students stationed at his bier. At the high school “fellow students in the great educational institution which bore Mr. Libbey’s name paid grateful tribute to this great friend of the school in fitting memorial services” planned by Principal Williams. (Toledo Blade, 1925)

Early in January 1927 after Mr. Libbey’s death, Libbey High School students were unexpectantly called into the auditorium for a mass meeting where they were presented to Mrs. Florence Scott Libbey, Edward D. Libbey’s widow. She told them of Mr. Libbey’s gift to the school: “Edward Drummond Libbey is giving you $50,000 toward the construction of your long dreamed of stadium.” No more enthusiastic crowd ever filled the auditorium.” (The Edelian, 1927)

On February 25th, 1927, the school launched an inspired campaign to match the gift to build the stadium, covering all homes and businesses. When the week was done, enthusiastic students “‘had reached our goal and our stadium was assured.” (Photo angle looking across creeks over field to the school?), (The Edelian 1927.)

posted by oldsendbrdy on May 12, 2011 at 02:16:46 pm     #  

The Libbey Alumni have a website

Check out the blog entrie (enter through the top of the page).

posted by oldsendbrdy on May 20, 2011 at 01:23:16 pm     #  

Tear it down and be done with it. This whole issue is stupid and is being driven by people's romanticized memories and not their common sense.

posted by hunkytownsausage on May 20, 2011 at 03:37:03 pm     #   3 people liked this

Let me save you the trouble. I'll go break all the windows, spray paint a bunch of crap on the outside, dump the trash cans, and throw a couple of old tires on the property.
That's exactly what you're gonna get if you try to save that building. The neighborhood is horrible and putting something nice there will be a waste of time.
Tear it down and build a co-parent jail. Jail the kids and their parents who cause trouble in the same cells.

posted by hockeyfan on May 20, 2011 at 09:32:02 pm     #   1 person liked this

I don't think we are going to give up that easily. Terrible neighborhoods get gentrified. People who are now complaining about the price of gasoline may see the advantage of living closer to their work. Times change, things change. I don't feel sorry for the fools that have chosen to live 20 miles from their work, and complain about the cost of getting there. There are options: the terrible neighborhoods, for some.

posted by oldsendbrdy on May 20, 2011 at 10:19:49 pm     #  

Refresh my memory and tell me of a neighborhood that has been transformed.
No one cares enough to change a neighborhood. It's easier to just move out. Changing an entire neighborhood takes more than a couple remodeled houses. It starts with a true block of concerned citizens to start. Just keeping an old building isn't going to stop crime, crack down on thugs, or even make the streets safer.
Put your energy into doing those things first. Otherwise you're going to have another abandon building filled with vagrants and gansters.

posted by hockeyfan on May 21, 2011 at 12:36:04 am     #  

Hockey, the OWE is a perfect example and, in fact, supports your point. Although the historic nature of the neighborhood helped the cause, it was the efforts of those aforementioned concerned citizens that made the real difference in transforming it from what it was in the '60s.

Back then, my parents wouldn't even allow me to go to the Museum because of the "neighborhood". It's still rough around the fringes, but I'm quite happy living here.

posted by prairieson on May 21, 2011 at 01:41:24 am     #  

The OWE is filled with beautiful victorian homes. Western Ave is not, and never will be. I like the jail idea.

posted by HickoryG on May 21, 2011 at 10:26:06 am     #  

They're beautiful now, not so much in the '60s. Not to mention that when the OWE was at its worst, it was also the age of "urban renewal with a wrecking ball".

Like I said, the nature of the architecture helped, but it was primarily the efforts of the residents. And it took decades at that.

posted by prairieson on May 21, 2011 at 03:03:23 pm     #  

the OWE is still riddled with thugs, gangs, and criminals. Yes, I will agree that there are concerned citizens that live there and I would personally love to own a house in that area but, too risky for me.
I don't want to live where I don't want to walk after dark.
Wasn't that guy on the bike just killed there last year?

posted by hockeyfan on May 21, 2011 at 10:20:07 pm     #   1 person liked this

The undesirable element lurks mainly on the fringes of the neighborhood, the core of the OWE is doing pretty well, and is in significantly better shape than it was in the '70s. Even the block I live on is in much better shape than it was 8 years ago when we moved in, and I feel as safe in my neighborhood as I have felt anywhere I've lived in the Toledo area.

As for Robert Brundage's death, it could have happened anywhere... a young couple were killed in Sylvania last year, as well as the recent standoff that resulted in the death of yet another Sylvania resident.

posted by prairieson on May 22, 2011 at 12:19:32 am     #  

Well, the auction has occured. Here are some comments:

posted by oldsendbrdy on May 25, 2011 at 10:56:03 am     #  

I would have liked to gone. Some of those old education materials would have been cool to have.

posted by Ace_Face on May 25, 2011 at 11:28:50 am     #  

Did they sell the old corporal punishment paddle or transfer it to another school? :)

posted by oldhometown on May 25, 2011 at 01:16:10 pm     #  

prairieson - I don't recall a young couple being killed in Sylvania last year. Or are you thinking of the young couple in Springfield Twp?

posted by mom2 on May 25, 2011 at 01:51:57 pm     #  

You are correct... faulty brain to fingers connection.

posted by prairieson on May 25, 2011 at 02:51:30 pm     #  

As for Robert Brundage's death, it could have happened anywhere... a young couple were killed in Sylvania last year, as well as the recent standoff that resulted in the death of yet another Sylvania resident.

The difference is that the Springfield Twp case and Sylvania standoff weren't random. Robert was killed because some punk decided he was going to rob a passerby. That wouldn't happen in Sylvania Township. You can actually let your kids ride their bikes around in Perrysburg. The Old West End isn't as dangerous as a lot of people believe it to be, but I wouldn't live there.

posted by Ace_Face on May 25, 2011 at 08:09:24 pm     #  

Wouldn't happen in Sylvania? If it was random, then it well could have happened in Sylvania... or anywhere for that matter, hence the term random.

I'm not sure which part of the OWE you're familiar with, but my neighborhood is full of families with bike riding kids, backyard cookouts, fence talk, and neighbors helping neighbors.

My point in all this from the start is that the OWE was in serious danger of total decay, and is still being reclaimed by residents who care/cared enough to do something about the condition of the neighborhood in the '60s and '70's.

posted by prairieson on May 26, 2011 at 12:05:52 am     #  

I have to agree with Prairieson. Having been in the OWE for 5 years, i've never felt safer. I know all my neighbors and we all look out for each other... more so than anywhere else i've ever experienced. We also subscribe to Old West End Security: Which brings a real peace of mind, and is super affordable.

From what I understand, the OWE ranked the 3rd safest neighborhood in Toledo last year and accounted for only 1.5% of the total crime for the city. I ride my bike, and walk around at night, and I see a LOT of others doing that as well.

As for Robert being killed, it was completely random and it's not like he was shot. He was pushed off his bike, and hit his head on the ground. Unfortunate? Absolutely. But also completely random and not indicative of the safety level of the neighborhood.

posted by upso on May 26, 2011 at 09:44:12 am     #   3 people liked this

Outside of invested home owners, The Old West End Security CO is a HUGE reason why that area is coming back. Check a crime map and it's no coincidence that quite a bit of petty theft and violence is just outside of their patrol area, They do a great job.

posted by dbw8906 on May 26, 2011 at 11:01:29 am     #  

I think the difference between the OWE and other neighborhoods in the city is very much the residents.

There is the Old West End Association, Women of the Old West End, countless boards and committees covering everything from The Bike CO-OP to historic preservation to keeping The Commons and The Arboretum pretty and planted nicely. We even have our own monthly newsletter that gets delivered by our fellow neighbors volunteering to do so... so that all residents are informed about events and happenings.

And I don't think I know a single neighbor who isn't involved in some way with one (or many) of the above. How many of your neighbors are actually active within your community?

Everybody knows everybody. People work together to keep the Old West End safe and we know the boundaries of our area because frankly we are surrounded by some not so nice areas.

That's really what keeps the OWE safe. It didn't happen overnight... and it didn't happen without a ton of hard work by residents that have lived here for 20+ years.

posted by toledolen_ on May 26, 2011 at 11:03:37 am     #   1 person liked this

If I didn't have kids, I might consider living in the Old West End. I was browsing real estate listings recently, and its crazy to see what kind of deal you can get on some of those beautiful homes.

And being able to walk to work would certainly be a bonus!

But, no matter how much I try to envision it, I cannot even begin to imagine raising my kids in the OWE.

I often take walks near and through the area while on my lunch break, and I just don't think I'd feel comfortable with my kids living so close to the awful neighborhoods that border the OWE.

posted by mom2 on May 26, 2011 at 11:10:52 am     #  

My friend who lives in the heart of the OWE has been there for 9 years. His car has been broken into, a bike stolen from his backyard and some guy burglarized his house while he was asleep inside. I saw in the paper last month that the major issue in the Fourth Ward is crime.

But the point here is that the Old West End has some things going for it: proximity to downtown/TMA and beautiful homes that can't be found anywhere else in town. The Old South End doesn't have much going for it hence not likely to see a resurgence.

posted by Ace_Face on May 26, 2011 at 11:25:05 am     #  

Thanks for steering back on topic Ace_Face. We did go off on a bit of a tangent.

(Though honestly, I don't have a whole lot to contribute to the Libbey discussion. I'm not a native Toledoan, so I've never had the occasion to see the building. To be embarassingly honest, I don't even know specifically where Libbey located.)

posted by mom2 on May 26, 2011 at 11:31:20 am     #  

Libbey is, indeed, a beautiful building, and I am all for historic preservation. I can also see that it is a real anchor of that part of our community.

Having said all that, I'm not sure that we can afford to mothball it until the economy comes back, if it ever comes back. Sure, I would love to see Libbey turned into some beautiful hotel or performance space or some combination of the two -- but with its location, who would stay there?

There has to be a commitment on all levels of government (and by the areas residents themselves) to revitalization of that area. Libbey may be an anchor of that part of our community, but without much of a community, what is it truly anchoring?

If there's a resident from that part of town who can refute what I'm saying, please do so!

posted by Anniecski on May 26, 2011 at 12:14:39 pm     #   2 people liked this

Annie makes a solid point. The area just isn't stable enough to support salvaging Libbey for any useful purpose. Its enrollment had dwindled to a few hundred in a building that could probably house 2,000 and neighborhood instability played a role in that. Not only did it have the lowest enrollment of all the city high schools, it also had one of the highest truancy rates during the last couple years it was open. Disipline was nearly non existent because of a series of weak administrators. Libbey stayed open as long as it did only because nobody wanted their kids - Scott didn't want their Hispanics and Bowsher parents didn't want any of them. The Board caved in to parent pressure until Libbey simply became financially unsustainable.

posted by shortysmom on May 26, 2011 at 11:10:53 pm     #  

SM, that's a great post. I believe I read that for a brief period in the early 1970's, Libbey had nearly 3k students.

There isn't ever going to be a revitalization effort in that part of South Toledo similar to OWE.

posted by 6th_Floor on May 26, 2011 at 11:19:17 pm     #  

Great post Annie!

posted by dbw8906 on May 27, 2011 at 07:51:20 am     #  

Libbey stayed open as long as it did only because nobody wanted their kids - Scott didn't want their Hispanics and Bowsher parents didn't want any of them.

An innocent statement revealing the true state of race & culture relations, 2011.

posted by oldhometown on May 27, 2011 at 12:24:20 pm     #  

6th, I'm a post WWII boomer. It wasn't unusual for our parents to have 4, 5, 6 or more kids, and the majority of them stayed married and moms didn't work outside the home. Probably all the TPS high schools of that period had 2,000+ students. Start and Bowsher were built around 1962 because of the terrible overcrowding at DeVilbiss and Libbey. DeVilbiss operated on split schedules before Start opened because the building was bursting at the seams. But it also had the largest high school library in the state at the time and was one of the top-ranked high schools in the country, producing National Merit scholars every year. What has happened to our school system is sad and beyond frustrating. We had better city schools when the enrollment was more than double what it is now.

posted by shortysmom on May 27, 2011 at 05:37:13 pm     #  

An innocent statement revealing the true state of race & culture relations, 2011.

It's been that way for a long time. The same reasons can probably be used for why Devilbiss was kept open longer than it needed to be.

posted by 6th_Floor on May 27, 2011 at 06:32:55 pm     #   1 person liked this

Not exactly. DeVilbiss's roof was leaking badly and needed replacing (an expensive proposition) and the Board didn't want to spend the bucks when Start was so close by, much newer, and had the space. The DeVilbiss population was racially much more diverse when it closed in 1991 than when I was there in the late '60s and early '70s. There were no assimilation problems because the whites headed north to Start and the African-Americans (many of whom lived south of Bancroft) were sent to Scott. Some of the worst racial tensions in TPS actually occurred at DeVilbiss between the late '60s (M.L. King assassination) and early '70s (heydey of the Black Panthers, Vietnam protests, urban riots - all signs of those turbulent times) when the black student population was less than 10%.

posted by shortysmom on May 27, 2011 at 10:35:45 pm     #  

Yeah, I would say Devilbiss much was different than when you attended. When Devilbiss closed in 1991 the black of the school was at least 60. During the early-mid 1990's, I worked with many Start parents, and I vividly remember hearing what they had to say about it. I would guess the % of Start HS black students doubled when Devilbiss closed.

Of course it happens, but the whole practice of keeping some schools open and closed to keep a certain parents quiet is bullshit. After a few consecutive years, if a school doesn't have enough enrollment to justify it being open, it should be closed. Libbey should have been closed several years prior.

posted by 6th_Floor on May 27, 2011 at 11:46:27 pm     #  

Maybe the Bowsher parents that pouted for at least a decade to keep Libbey open, ought to pool their money and purchase Libbey. Then donate the school and property to a charter school.

posted by 6th_Floor on May 27, 2011 at 11:48:46 pm     #  

City No Longer Interested in Buying Part of Libbey High

The city had hired the Toledo engineering firm H.T. Bernsdorff, Inc., to determine the cost of converting the two structures into such a center.

Toledo Deputy Mayor for External Affairs Tom Crothers said the cost doesn’t make sense for the city.

“Unfortunately, as you will see by perusing the study and, in particular, the ‘cost estimate summary,’ undertaking this project at this time is simply prohibitive,” Mr. Crothers wrote in letter to Toledo City Council. “Accordingly, the administration recommends the city no longer consider entering into an agreement with the Toledo Public School system to purchase these facilities.”

Hey...we've found an actual non-pandering adult in city government. How refreshing. To paraphrase, "look at the study, it's expensive, we ain't got the money, we're done."

Ball is in your court, "save Libbey" crowd. Clock is ticking...

posted by oldhometown on Jun 06, 2011 at 04:25:25 pm     #   1 person liked this

Vandals have done a great amount of damage since the auction, cutting pipes and trying to salvage anything not bolted down. This has happenned three times that I am aware. IN addition, there was some recent water damage from the heavy rains with drain pipes busting open.

Good Luck

posted by Hoops on Jun 06, 2011 at 04:36:01 pm     #  

and nobody in the neighborhood knows anything about it do they? How can they expect and want something to be done there for the neighborhood and area when the true nature of the area is coming through.
Destroy, rob, break, steal. Good luck south toledo.

posted by hockeyfan on Jun 06, 2011 at 06:51:54 pm     #  

R and I just returned from Libbey. We could only see into the lobby and the marble panels and the benches are still there. Of course, that's all we could see. The lobby is a MESS!!! There are ceiling tiles pulled down and garbage strewn all over the floor along with dirt from the mud that was created by the vehicles driving through the grass on the day of the auction and the pick-up days that followed. I took pictures.

However, the other news for today is this: R spotted someone standing in one of the rooms in the right wing of the building. The window was open. We walked over and asked the people (a young man and young woman) how they got into the building. They said they had keys given to them by TPS. I asked who they were and they said they were from Toledo Metropolitan Housing and were looking for building materials that they could use. There was a large bookcase in the center of the room.

I explained that TPS had said nothing of historic or architectural value was to auctioned or disposed of and that we had applied for the National Register award. They told us that they were just doing what TPS said they could do. There was no truck or other vehicle parked any where near the school, so we assumed that they were waiting for one to return.

What's our next move? We have to act fast on this now!!!!

Good ol' TPS. Speaking out of both sides of their mouths as usual. The vultures are at it again.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Jun 08, 2011 at 03:47:44 pm     #  

The next move is to tear down that fucking building. It does not make fiscal sense to keep it standing. You just said the lobby is a mess with tiles and garbage everywhere. What do you think the rest of the building looks like? I'm guessing it's a giant disaster as well.

Why on earth would anybody piss away their money trying to fix up that building just because some old alumni don't want to see it torn down. Maybe if the neighborhood around there wasn't such a shit hole, people would feel differently. It's like trying to turn a piece of dog crap into a diamond.

As I said in an earlier post:
"Tear it down and be done with it. This whole issue is stupid and is being driven by people's romanticized memories and not their common sense."

posted by hunkytownsausage on Jun 08, 2011 at 04:01:52 pm     #  

I sent a request to TPS about the pre-bid meetings, bids, and start of projects (in this case, demolition of Libbey High School).

Got this back:

The tentative schedule for Libbey is as follows:

6/22/2011 Abatement Bid
10/12/2011 Demolition out for bid
12/2/2011 Abatement complete
12/16/2011 Demolition start

posted by oldsendbrdy on Jun 15, 2011 at 04:00:11 pm     #  

Facing Demolition, Old Libbey school Is Back Up For Sale

The entire Libbey campus on Western Avenue would be up for auction, with a minimum bid to be set at about $400,000, the fair market value of the land as determined by the Lucas County Auditor's Office.

But then there's this nugget way down in the story:

The minimum bid of $400,000 is significantly less than the price slated for Libbey when the building was offered to charter schools. Ms. Sobecki said in May that the district offered the building on Jan. 3 to charter schools for its appraised value of $10 million, but received no offers.

WTF??? No shit they received no offers! The 8-decade-old buildings on Libbey's campus are (were) worth $9.4 million? And that a charter school could afford it? Who is this hack Sobecki friggin' kidding???

Now they're trying to sell it when the guts have been torn up & out by vandals (see posts by Hoops & others above)...when they perfectly well could have offered a charter school--or several, considering the size of the buildings--a crack at owning the building for so much less than $10 million. You know, if the mission was actually about educating children in a poor(er) neighborhood.

Now their offering shells of buildings for land-only price--and I'm sure without demolition costs. Who is gonna take that offer now, before the state & city tear it down?

Hey, "Save Libbey" crowd--you never had a chance. The Board of Education made sure it couldn't be another type of school, has ignored its assets and security of those assets, and is apparently happy with (according to their numbers) a 90% devaluation of the whole property.

Awesome work BOE! Libbey alum, make sure you call Ms. Sobecki and thank her for her work.

"Save Libbey"=doomed.

posted by oldhometown on Jun 30, 2011 at 08:40:05 pm     #  

I loved my time at Libber. I coached there on the last football and track staffs, but let's be honest with each other. This place needed to go.

They SHOULD have offered it to the charters for less than $10,000,000. But then again it's not hard to see why they wouldn't want to put even more kids in charter schools.

As for the educating children in these poor neighborhoods, Libbey did a fine job near the end. they actually created an environment where they didn't tolerate the horseshit. I'm not saying college-ready kids came out of that place, but from everyone involved I had heard that the processes put in place has great impacts.

In my opinion TPS shouldn't have used the money building these small high schools. They should have consolidated to save money BEFORE they were built. Now they're in a tricky situation and have no one to blame but themselves.

posted by BusterBluth on Jul 02, 2011 at 12:38:14 am     #  

The Blade article,, about the effort by TPS to "sell" Libbey does not express the poor job they did. The website they used had the option of putting several pictures on it. They used just the one. Since I have been going to the various meetings to find out what would be done with Libbey I have learned quite a bit. The cost overruns have been pretty consistent. Knowing what I know now I would never have voted to replace the schools. Keeping what we had in good repair would have been a better idea. There are already problems with roof leaks and the air-conditioning. To believe that the public will spend money on repair for these newer schools is to put faith in a public that does not want to spend the money. The only ones who benefited from the new schools were the contractors and laborers who built them.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Aug 07, 2011 at 09:59:38 pm     #  

The only ones who benefited from the new schools were the contractors and laborers who built them.


Having read your posts here since joining, I am surprised you haven't always assumed that.

Add to the list the bureaucrats that stood in front of cameras during ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Hopefully, some of them are named when the new buildings fall apart and/or close.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 07, 2011 at 11:47:08 pm     #   1 person liked this

This morning I went to the auction. I got there at 9:00 PM to look at stuff to be auctioned, and went to the front of the Main Building to observe the auction of the real estate. I had to leave about 10:55 to help a friend extricate himself from a room when the door locked on him. I got back about 11:20, and the terms and conditions of the sale were being read. The stadium had already been purchased for $25,000. When the school was finally offerred for sale no one rose with the minimum of $395,000 to buy it. The school can now be "abated" anytime after the next school board meeting (Aug. 16, 2011). Ms. Sobecki said that the board had done everthing it could to "sell" the school. In another 20-30 years these buildings will have to be replaced because no more effort will be made to maintain these buildings as the old ones.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Aug 10, 2011 at 09:28:37 pm     #  

The new buildings are already falling apart. It's sad. If they had kept up and maintained the old buildings they could have stood another hundred years. People are stupid.

posted by toledolen_ on Aug 11, 2011 at 01:04:14 pm     #  

... and wasteful.

posted by toledolen_ on Aug 11, 2011 at 01:04:38 pm     #  

I'm not sure if I mentioned it yet, but I coached at Libbey during its last year, and the building was amazing. I'm now in the Knowlton School of Architecture here at Ohio State, so I know a modicum of stuff on the subject. haha

No doubt about it, if they don't knock it down, it will still be standing and it great shape when the new Bowsher falls down. They should take the TPS administrators who build those undersized schools and put them on West Sister Island for the rest of their lives. Just a damn waste of resources and a pathetic handout to the union laborers.

That said, I don't see how they can't knock it down. It's a damn shame.

posted by BusterBluth on Aug 11, 2011 at 01:18:01 pm     #   1 person liked this

Just a damn waste of resources and a pathetic handout to the union laborers.

Vote for the same assholes tied to the same groups (duh....the unions), get the same games and results every time. Every time.

Union strong, baby.

posted by oldhometown on Aug 11, 2011 at 04:41:33 pm     #  

Checked my email this morning and saw something about the next Bd of Ed meeting Tuesday, August 16, 2011. I went to the TPS website, and checked the agenda for the Bd of Ed meeting. There was a pdf about the demolitions coming up,$file/Demolition%20Summary.pdf, that showed that the abatement of Libbey would begin on 8-45-11. This seemed odd (it might be 8-15-11) so I emailed TPS to see when the abatement was to start, and drove over to Libbey High School. As I approached the school from the east I saw a semi tractor with the cab in the street blocking traffic. A large steel container was blocking the doors to the Skills Center. I parked across the street, and approached the three guys. I asked if they were starting the abatement. One asked if I wanted a job there (probably an attempt at humor). Another fellow finally said that they were going to probably start the abatement that afteroon if they could get some equipment. I drove to the back where I saw that the stadium had been removed. There were about a half dozen vehicles parked in the back. A friend had found the Libbey trophies that we thougt were missing during the auction last Wednesday in the basketball arena. Hopefully, those were retrieved before they were carted away.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Aug 15, 2011 at 09:51:02 pm     #  

Went to the Board of Ed meeting tonight. Hopefully, all schools are on track to open in time. Most schools will start August 29th although the Toledo Early College started today. The grants that TPS received might go a long way to getting kids on track despite their disadvantages when they come from one-parent families. Some kids will do well no matter what environment they are in while others could have money thrown at them with both fists for education, and not succeed.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Aug 16, 2011 at 10:42:24 pm     #  

Went by Libbey. A covered dumpster has been in front of the east entrance of the red brick building with "Career Center" in metal letters on the south side of eastern structure. Did not see anyone around at that time (about 4:00 PM). I thought I saw a hole in the bottom back of the dumpster as I drove by. I checked the west side parking lot and saw a white van parked there. The orange plastic tape around the dumpster has "DANGER ASBESTOS HAZARD" printed on it. The "hole" turned out to be a part of the hookup (I believe) for the dumpster onto the bed of a semi-trailer. The company is Metro with a Michigan phone number (734-728-1263). Here is a link to the company that is hauling the asbestos from Libbey for TPS, .
Sorry no picture.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Aug 19, 2011 at 09:38:07 pm     #  

Libbey is now on the National Register of Historic Places

From the week's list for September 23, 2011

Libbey, Edward Drummond, High School,
1250 Western Ave.,
Toledo,Ohio 11000672
LISTED, 9/15/11

posted by oldsendbrdy on Sep 23, 2011 at 09:03:34 pm     #  

Here's my question, Why?

posted by MikeyA on Sep 24, 2011 at 02:08:11 am     #   1 person liked this

Short answer: so the "Save Libbey" crowd can attempt to get money from the federal government.

National Register of Historic Places Program: Fundamentals

So, how's the search for someone to buy Libbey coming along? Clock is ticking...

posted by oldhometown on Sep 24, 2011 at 07:02:03 am     #  

I know someone who spent his entire 30+ years of teaching at Libbey and I'm well aware of what caused its decline over the last several years it was open. Epic administrative failure. A series of weak administrators, including principals and assistants who were just plain scared of the kids, helped pound the nails into Libbey's coffin. Some of the tougher male teachers were the only ones willing or able to handle discipline for the whole building. Unfortunately, it was tough to teach and find the time to bust heads between classes while the management folks cowered in their offices. The people at Manhattan & Elm buried their heads in the sand until they finally had an excuse to shut her down.

My high school closed 20 years ago and probably has a date with the wrecking ball somewhere in the future. That's life. You Libbey people need get over high school and grow up.

posted by shortysmom on Sep 25, 2011 at 12:34:40 am     #   3 people liked this

SMom they can't kick the trouble makers out because of the funding model, the Dept of Education has them by the sack, it's a per pupil payday. Biggest problem with public education.

"You Libbey people need get over high school and grow up." - And folks we have a winner!

posted by dbw8906 on Sep 25, 2011 at 05:29:52 am     #  

shortysmom and I don't agree on a lot, but she hit the nail on the head.

There are a lot of places with a lot of memories that I can't go to anymore (my grandmother's house, Tiger Stadium, the field I used to play in that is now a medical complex), but somehow I survived. St. John's H.S. still stands (and thrives)...but I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've been in the building in the 20 years or so since I graduated. You know, 'cuz I live in the year 2011, not the late 80's...

I agree, grow up.

posted by oldhometown on Sep 25, 2011 at 03:08:19 pm     #  

Blow that building up! BOOM!

posted by hunkytownsausage on Sep 26, 2011 at 12:51:37 pm     #