West Elementary school in Athens
West Elementary in Athens (Aaron Payne | WOUB)

Days Are Numbered For Athens’ West Elementary School

Posted on:

< < Back to

ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Parents in Athens’ West neighborhood have known for quite some time that this day might come.

As construction nears completion on new state-of-the-art facilities for Athens City Schools, the district will consolidate to fewer buildings, and elementary students will settle into new homes.

Since the project’s inception, families have been left on edge about the future of former elementary schools — including West Elementary, a building with deep roots in the city’s west side.

But according to superintendent Tom Gibbs, the beloved building’s fate is just about sealed.

“The plan right now is to demolish the building and to clean the property up,” Gibbs said.

West Elementary will serve area students for one last school year. Fourth and fifth graders were relocated to West while The Plains Intermediate School undergoes its $12 million renovation.

There is, however, one last chance for West Elementary’s advocates to at least preserve the building.

“Of course, if a community organization comes forward who has the funds to do something productive with the existing building, I’m sure the board of education would consider that,” Gibbs said.

The Athens Early Learning Center, previously Chauncey Elementary, has already been transformed into an office building for district administration.

Only time will tell if West Elementary will be similarly repurposed, whether for the district or the greater community.