(BEDFORD) - The City of Bedford is taking steps to own the Oakland City University-Bedford building at 405 I St.
The Times-Mail reports that the building, once home to the Indiana Limestone Co., is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has housed Oakland City College for years and now Ivy Tech Community College holds classes there.
Mayor Shawna Girgis thinks it would be a good step for the city to take ownership of the building. But before that can happen, the Bedford Board of Works will have to approve the transfer agreement.
Council member Mark Scherschel has some concerns about potential problems and expenses associated with the building, including inspectors finding asbestos or buried fuel tanks on the property.
Trena Carter of the Administrative Resources Association told the council that a study of the building and grounds will be done before the Board of Works takes action.
City Attorney Greg Pittman stressed that if problems were discovered, the agreement to acquire the building could be terminated.
The council voted to pass the decision on to the Board of Works.
Girgis foresees classes being held at the building through 2014, 2015 and early 2016. After that, the former JC Penny building at 15th and J streets should be transformed into the Stone Gate Arts and Education Center with money from the Stellar Grant.
Then the city will determine how to use the OCU building.
The Lawrence County Economic Growth Council has agreed to help the city with the project, and one objective is developing the building into a workplace training facility.
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