Saturday, September 14, 2002

Warren annexation fight ends

Township won't challenge Fenwick school site

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

        FRANKLIN TWP. — The township has dropped its challenge to Middletown's annexation of a 97-acre site that will become home to a new, larger Bishop Fenwick High School .

        Trustees this week ended their battle with Middletown by deciding not to file an appeal of the annexation to the Ohio Supreme Court.

        “It's over,” said Fenwick Principal Father Charles Mentrup. “We're glad to be able to maintain our relationship with the City of Middletown. This issue will no longer occupy all our time. We can focus on other things.”

        Last month, the Twelfth District Court of Appeals declined to hear the appeal filed earlier this year by the trustees after a visiting judge allowed Middletown to annex the property. Warren County commissioners had denied the annexation petition in October 2001, which pleased homeowners in the Hunter area who favored the school proposal but opposed the annexation.

        The property, located along Ohio 122, about 1.3 miles east of Interstate 75, was donated to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for a new high school by Fifth Duet, a corporation owned by Fenwick alumnus Bill Akersand his wife, Debbie. Site preparation began this summer and construction on the school will begin before year's end.

        The new school will include classrooms, a chapel, performing arts center and gymnasium plus soccer and football stadiums and practice fields. It will accommodate 600 to 650 students from 12 feeder parishes in Butler and Warren counties. The school now enrolls 404 students in grades 9-12.


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