Energy company donates building to Southern
SALINEVILLE — The Kenneth Hutson Building has been donated to the Southern Local Schools, giving new purposes to the building that most recently served as offices for Williams Energy.
The Southern Local school board unanimously approved accepting the donation of the building during a recent meeting.
According to the county auditor’s office, the building’s most recent transfer was in March 2014, when it was purchased by Utica East Ohio Midstream in Tulsa, Okla., for $600,000. The current value of the building and land combined is listed as $81,500. According to a press release in 2015, Williams Energy increased its equity interest in Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC.
Southern Superintendent Tom Cunningham said on Friday the school board is very appreciative of both T.J. Gentile, a supervisor for Williams Energy, and Salineville Mayor Linda Adams. Cunningham said it was Adams who first reached out to the energy company about the school possibly being able to find a good use for the office building, which was no longer being used.
In addition to the building, Cunningham said Williams Energy gave the school district desks, tables and other equipment. Some of those desks and tables are being used in the school right now in classrooms and the cafeteria.
“They’ve been very generous to our district,” Cunningham said.
The school district had considered moving administrative offices to the building, but Cunningham said they are now considering moving programs for the Utica Shale Academy there. Additionally, the building could be used for the school’s Career Based Intervention program, teaching students about welding, small engines and robotics, while helping them to gain the skills needed for career licensing.
Students who are only taking a couple of classes through the shale program or CBI could be transported into Salineville for a couple of class periods and then returned to the main school building.
The Future Farmers of America certification could also benefit from the new location, according to Cunningham. The students involved in that program would be able to work on beautification projects around the building and in the park behind it, giving them skills and making the area nicer for everyone in the village.
Finally, the school district plans to add wireless Wi-Fi capabilities for those outside of the building. Cunningham said students and all residents in the community will be able to use it to connect to the internet while enjoying the park behind the building during nice weather.
“It will be great for everybody for the school district to have a presence back down in the village of Salineville,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said there are plans to expand the offerings at the main school buildings also, such as additional preschool space and other electives for high school and middle school. But with the Utica Shale Academy and other programs already in the building, there really is no room to expand.
Southern Local last had a physical location presence in Salineville until 2004. The intermediate school students moved from the building in Salineville, which was formerly the middle school, to the new school complex beginning in January of 2004 and the building was torn down in 2005.