jack hager

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Whitwell Elementary School


Completed in 1959 and closed in 2009, it was sold by the Ironton
City Schools Board of Education to the owner of Southern Ohio
Salvage and Contracting, Jack Hager, for $125,000. On top of the
$125k the school board received for the property they saved an
additional $30,000 they would have had to contribute in demolition
costs. Over the summer of ‘09 Whitwell was selected as one of seven
schools in Ohio by the EPA as a testing site for potential health
concerns from toxic air pollutants. The EPA tests mainly focused on
two harmful chemicals, benzene and benzo(a)pyrene. The preliminary
figures showed the level of key hazardous pollutants “well below
levels of short term concern” the EPA stated. An estimated $50,000 of
damage occurred in the spring of 2011 when persons unknown broke
into the building and stole copper piping and metal. Most of the
destruction was from water damage, “They cut into a main line into
the bathroom and water ran into the bathroom for who knows how
long, maybe three weeks,” Hager said. In 2012 The Ironton Zoning
Appeals Board refused to approve developer Jack Hager’s plan to
turn the former school into a 20-unit apartment complex for seniors
and veterans. They cited that it was made perfectly clear what the
building could be used for when it was put up for bid – no apartments.
The above photos were taken toward the end of last summer and it
seemed like very little had been done to the building in terms of renovation.