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Cleveland City Council votes to buy Raider Drive Bank building if schools agree to take it on

From the Chattanoogan: The Cleveland City Council on Monday initially voted 4-3 to turn down a deal offered by Cleveland billionaire Forrest Preston for a long-vacant former bank building on Raider Drive across from Cleveland High School.


After a recess, there was a new motion that passed 7-0 that has the city buying the building for costs totaling around $800,000, then giving the Cleveland City Schools until March 1 to reimburse the city’s costs. The city is also asking that the Cleveland City Schools going forward pay the city $18,000 per year – the amount of current taxes on the building.


The Cleveland City Schools have indicated an interest in refurbishing the building as a new school headquarters.


It was also noted that Mr. Preston, the founder of Life Care Centers of America, in 2016 offered the building to the city at no charge.


Dr. Russell Dyer, city school director, said the current headquarters on Mouse Creek Road was overcrowded with items being stored in portable units. He said central office personnel currently are in five different locations.


The Preston property includes eight acres and is by the greenway. It has 45,000 square feet of space.