East side residents said on Monday that they felt they were being left out of the process to trade land from the city to the Columbus City School District.
The land-swap could create a new home for Africentric High School, which currently is located downtown, at the former Woodland Meadows housing development near Bexley, 10TV’s Glenn McEntyre reported.
In exchange for the city giving the 52-acre property to the district, the city will receive Reeb Elementary, located on Reeb Avenue, to turn it into a community center.
Diane Middleton, president of the North Eastmoor Civic Association, said that she takes pride in her neighborhood.
“On our letterhead, we say we’re a diverse neighborhood with welcoming arms for everyone,” Middleton said.
Woodland Meadows, which was nicknamed ‘Uzi Alley” because of the violence reported at the apartment complex, was torn down by the city in 2007.
Residents heard of the land-swap plan last month in news reports, McEntyre reported.
“We are not against schools as a community. We are talking about not being informed of plans that go on that affect our neighborhood prior to them being signed, sealed and delivered.”
City and schools officials told 10TV News in May that the land swap was far from a done deal and would meet with residents prior to it being finalized.
Board of education members voted last week to sign off on the swap, McEntyre reported.
Middleton said that she heard of the vote on the news.
City officials said that they have not set a date for a vote for the land-swap deal. They said their next step was to meet with residents.
Middleton said that she that she was skeptical.
“It’s about the whole community being respected and not bulldozed or run over,” Middleton said.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.
Since 10TV News aired this story, Columbus City Schools provided 10TV News with a copy of an e-mail sent to the leaders of the North Eastmoor Civic Association.
In the e-mail, dated May 10, the district asked for an opportunity to meet with residents about the land-swap deal. District officials said that they never heard back from residents.