POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — Poland Union School on Riverside Drive has been vacant for a year and a half, costing the district $50,000 a year to maintain. On Wednesday, there will be a public meeting discussing plans to turn the building into apartments — and eventually condos.

Dominic Marchionda Jr. and Patrick Burgan are the two people behind the Poland Union Property Group, a company formed to turn Poland Union School into apartments.

“We think we can fit between 20 and 30 really nice, high-end quality units that would be open floor plan, modern finishes,” Marchionda said.

Parts of the school building date back to 1882, though much of it was rebuilt in 1938 after a fire. The estimated cost of renovation is from $8 – 10 million, with possibly 30% coming from historic preservation tax credits.

With the tax credits, the building must remain with one owner for five years — meaning it will start as an apartment building. After the five-year period, units can be sold or “condominium-ized,” according to Marchionda.

“To have something with a little bit of density here in Poland is by far the greatest idea,” Burgan said.

“It’s becoming a very expensive vacant building for the people of Poland,” said Poland superintendent Craig Hockenberry.

According to Hockenberry, a request for proposals resulted in two responses. The other will present in January.

Under state law, school systems can not place deed restrictions on properties sold. The plan is to sell the school to the Western Reserve Port Authority, which will apply deed restrictions — such as not allowing for another school — and require that the historical integrity of the building remain. Should the project fail, ownership of the building would revert back to the school system.

“If we don’t come up with something to save it in some way, then it could face the wrecking ball,” Hockenberry said.

“To see a building such as this be demolished — it would be terrible for the community,” Burgan said.

“We’d like to do something that really pays homage to what this site has historically been, and to continue to sustain the legacy of Poland,” Marchionda said.

A public meeting to discuss the redevelopment plans at Poland Union will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the school. The superintendent, officials with the village and the developers will attend the meeting.