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FWCS Will Consider Resolution to Hand Former Ward Building to Neighborhood Health

The L.C. Ward Education Center was officially closed in 2017 and has sat vacant for the three years since.

Fort Wayne Community Schools announced its intent to transfer ownership of the former L.C. Ward Education Center building today (Wednesday). The FWCS Board will consider a resolution to transfer the building at no cost to Neighborhood Health at a future meeting.

After more than three years of vacancy, the district hopes to find a new purpose for the L.C. Ward building on Warsaw Street in southeast Fort Wayne.

The school was closed in 2017 and slated for demolition, but after neighbors and elected officials representing southeast Fort Wayne objected, the board decided to find an alternate solution - handing ownership over to Neighborhood Health.

FWCS Board President Julie Hollingsworth said the board’s duty is to be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars, but also to find a use for the building to benefit the community.

“Speaking on behalf of the board, I think this is really a win-win," she said. "It’s a win for the school system and it’s a win for this neighborhood.”

Neighborhood Health plans to use the building to operate and expand healthcare and educational facilities and programs.

Neighborhood Health CEO Angie Zaegel said she’s excited to move into a neighborhood with a high need for healthcare.

“Most of our patients actually come from the 46806 zipcode and I am very thrilled that we are moving into the neighborhood of where our patients live,” Zaegel said.

The transfer of ownership will save the district 243,000 dollars in demolition costs.


Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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