Council votes to make 'haunted' school a local historic landmark

WALNUT HILLS (FOX19) - Cincinnati city council voted today to make a 'haunted' Walnut Hills school a local historical landmark.

The Windsor Elementary school opened in the 1800's.

Now that Windsor school is a historical landmark, that's the first step in turning it into a place where residents can live.

"That's a bad spirit and I ain't trying to have that bad spirit in front of my home," said Darryl Newman.

A vacant, some say haunted building, sits in this quiet Walnut Hills neighborhood. And residents are eager to see this historic school developed.

"I think they just need to tear it down, do something with it," said Mary Robinson.

Robinson used to live right across the street and says there are some freaky things happening inside.

"I'd come outside with my dog and the lights are flickering on and off and I'm like how is that happening, this school has been vacant for years," said Robinson.

Some people have allegedly spotted ghosts and there's been paranormal tours at the school in recent years.

"Keep those people from coming over here doing the ghost busters and let them do that somewhere else," said Newman.

The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation is helping to scare the ghosts away by supporting plans to turn the Windsor School into a 40 unit apartment complex.

"You're starting to see across the city these schools being re-used in creative ways. Obviously they'll be very unique apartments being in a very historical school like that," said Kevin Wright, director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation.

Kevin Wright says he's not afraid that people will be too spooked to live here.

"Some people might not like that, some people might but it lends itself to at least exploring the health of the building," said Wright.

Darryl Newman supports plans to renovate, but he has other ideas.

"I want to see them do something creative with it. Something that's active for the adults like a bingo hall," said Newman.

Wright says with the changing of the business district too, it's clear other investors want to do their part to develop the neighborhood.

"20 years ago Walnut Hills had a population of about 15,000 people and now it has a population of about 6,000 so this is a sign that Walnut Hills is on its way back," said Wright.

Now that the school is an historic landmark, it's eligible to apply for state historic tax credit.

Renovations are estimated at 4 million dollars.

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