March 8 – A group of HVAC, plumbing and roofing workers have bought the former Greene County Career Center building and plan to continue using it as a commercial school.
Kip Morris, CEO of HVAC company Five Star Heating and Cooling Group, Chris Adams, who owns Narrow Path Plumbing, and Doug Van Dyke, owner of Van Martin Roofing, bought the building for $ 1.6 million.
The auction for the building at 2960 W. Enon Road in Xenia Twp. lasted about an hour, said Greene County Career Center spokesman Ron Bolender. Morris was the highest bidder.
The three plan to turn the building into a trade school called “The Trades,” where students can learn heating and cooling, plumbing, welding, electricity, and building. Morris said he and his partners would focus on recovering addicts, youth at risk, and children who are aging out of the foster family.
They hope to be in the building by May and start classes in the fall, Morris said. The group has already hired a director for the school.
“What sets us apart from other business schools is that we have a heating and cooling company, a plumbing company, and a roofing company that let students apply what they learned in the field that morning or the day before that afternoon” Said Morris.
Morris said he and his partners are all in long-term recovery. Morris has been recovering for 19 years.
“We all have hearts for people in recovery,” he said. “All of our businesses are what we call“ second chance businesses. ”When someone is struggling with addiction problems and is on the right track, we are ready to take a risk, keep them busy and give them hope for the recovery process to give. ” That’s a pretty important ingredient for success. “
Morris said about half of his company’s 100 employees made recovery from addicts. He said the group was already negotiating another potential school location, but then that building was auctioned off.
“If God didn’t move in our lives, none of this would be possible. Everything just came together,” said Morris. “We’re really going to do it on an incredibly large scale. We don’t really want to make money from it. When the only thing that happens is we’re helping people who are in the recovery process or at risk.” Youth and we give them a career and hope for their journey … our mission is accomplished. “
The story goes on
Greene County’s Career Center superintendent Dave Deskins said he was thrilled to see someone on the same mission buy the old career center building.
“I know this has been a tough day for old employees and alumni. The sale of the building is bittersweet. But it’s great to see that it can be used and the work we’ve done there with Mr. Morris and.” his partners will continue, “said Deskins.
Deskins said he and Morris had discussed how the two schools might work together in the future.
“Our career center has had people joining the workforce for years. And it’s great to have someone working to fill jobs that we don’t currently offer to local students like HVAC and plumbing who are crying out for more people and put them in the local economy, “Deskins said. “This is really good for Greene County and it will be good for the entire Miami Valley.”
Career center students visited the new $ 70 million career center built on Innovation Drive in August 2020. Voters approved a 20-year tax of EUR 1.03 million to help pay for the new facility in Xenia. The building was designed by Levin Porter Architects and Shook Construction was the general contractor.
The law required the Greene County Career Center the old building to offer charter and STEM schools in the district. Nobody was interested in the building, so it was put up for auction. The Board of Education will consider this offer at the March 10th meeting.