Neighbors, former students, and former teachers gathered on a bright February day to explore the halls of the historic Osborne School in Sandusky. Community Building Partners and the City of Sandusky invited the community to the open house to engage them in our visioning and redevelopment process as we explore the future possibilities of the school.

Osborne Elementary School, formerly the Seventh Ward School, was built in 1890. Now a protected city landmark and a National Registered Historic Place, the school educated the children of railroad workers and served as the neighborhood elementary school for over a century. In 2021, Sandusky City Schools opened three new school buildings– the Early Learning Academy, Primary School, and Intermediate School– and Osborne School was permanently closed that year.

Community Building Partners has agreed to purchase the school from the City of Sandusky to convert the building into an affordable senior housing development. We are always excited about opportunities presented by historic buildings and Osborne holds endless opportunities. With large classrooms, original millwork and woodwork still intact, and located in a quiet neighborhood, Osborne is a great site for older adults to call home.

CBP has broad ideas for the school, but invited community members during this event in to share their ideas, as many have lived near the school for years or taught in the classrooms. Neighbors wished to keep many of the unique school-like features, such as chalkboards that line many of the classroom walls and the murals painted by students.

We also used this opportunity to share the behind-the-scenes process of what will take place during the rehabilitation, including our applications for historic tax credits, contractor and architect selections, and the timeframe of construction. The community will be invited back to the school several times during the rehab to speak on the drafted plans and to also celebrate when the building is placed into service.

Praxia Partners