BEDFORD, Ohio (WJW) — Cuyahoga Land Bank crews began demolition Wednesday morning on a building in Bedford that formerly served as a Catholic high school.
St. Peter Chanel Catholic High School closed in 2013 due to falling enrollment and budget concerns.
The Bedford City School District bought the site, located on Northfield Road, in June 2018 as part of the district’s master facilities plan.
Officials say demolition of the 166,000 sq. ft. building is the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s most extensive demolition project yet.
“While we have demolished taller buildings, in terms of square footage, this will be our largest demolition project to date,” Kim Kimlin, Chief Operating Officer of the Cuyahoga Land Bank, said in a press release.
The demolition will be executed in strategic phases over the course of several days.
“Our contractor will begin demolition at the rear of the building and work its way to the front,” Kimlin explained.
Completion of the demolition also includes hauling away debris. The entire process is expected to take up to five weeks.
St. Peter Chanel was built in 1956 by the Society of Mary in response to overcrowding in other Catholic diocesan high schools. The school opened in September 1957.
“St. Peter Chanel has been a staple not only in the City of Bedford, but to Northeast Ohio for decades,” Bedford City Manager Mike Mallis said. “The City of Bedford is forever grateful for Chanel’s proud history, the dedicated Alumni Association and of all those who shared in the Chanel experience and call themselves Firebirds. As an alum of St. Peter Chanel, it was important that the demolition be handled with respect and reverence. The City of Bedford is excited to partner on this project and bring this important piece of property closer to its next use.”
Bedford City School District is expected to use the site for a “campus-like setting” because of its close proximity to Bedford High School.