S A V E K E N M O R E
S C H O O L S
Since 1999, the decisions made by Akron Public Schools (APS) to disinvest in the Kenmore neighborhood has not only negatively impacted access to education for the children in Kenmore, it has diminished Kenmore's sense of community, identity, and pride.
A community's schools are an important anchor, and Kenmore’s schools have dwindled from 10 to only 4 that are currently in use. Now, district leaders are discussing closing Pfeiffer Elementary School, while the former Kenmore High building sits vacant, overlooking Kenmore’s jewel: the Kenmore Boulevard Historic District.
The residents, advocates, and stakeholders of Kenmore demand APS must not further disinvest in our neighborhood. Pfeiffer Elementary School must remain open and the former Kenmore High School building must not continue to sit vacant and unused as occurred with not one but two of our elementary schools, Lawndale and Smith, in just the past few years.
We ask you to join us by signing our petition demanding APS end its 24-year disinvestment of the Kenmore community and to save our schools!
A Look at the Impact of Akron Public Schools on Kenmore Since 1999
Lawndale Elementary School is razed following a fire in January 2022. (Photo: Mark Price, Akron Beacon Journal)
In 1999, the Kenmore cluster had 10 total schools: Kenmore High School, Innes Middle Schools, Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts and seven elementary schools. This is an account of what happened to Kenmore cluster schools in subsequent years.
2000 - APS moved the Miller South School for the Performing Arts from the Kenmore cluster into a new “specialty cluster.”
2003 - Kenmore residents vote to pass a .25% levy for Imagine Akron Community Learning Center project. APS promises the community their share of new, rebuilt schools, including Kenmore High and Pfeiffer Elementary ..
2007 - APS closes two Kenmore elementary schools: Margaret Park Elementary and Hemminger Elementary, which - built in 1903 - served as Kenmore's original high school.
2008 - Sam Salem Elementary School, named after a longtime Akron School Board member, was demolished and replaced with a new CLC. Reimer Elementary School was also demolished and replaced with a new CLC.
2009 - Innes Middle School was renovated and renamed a CLC.
2016 - APS closes Smith and Lawndale elementary schools, sending Smith students to Pfeiffer Elementary and Lawndale students to Reimer CLC, leaving the neighborhood with three elementary schools and only one north of Kenmore Boulevard.
2017 - After intense public meetings and community outcry, APS made the decision to close its Kenmore High School entity permanently and merge it with neighboring Garfield High School. Roswell-Kent would merge with Innes CLC.
2018 - APS makes repairs to the Kenmore High School building to serve as a swing space for the newly renamed Kenmore-Garfield High School. Students merge that fall.
2020 - APS sells the Smith and Lawndale properties to L. Stowers Community Development LLC for $44,000 each. The City of Akron later orders Stowers to raze the Smith and Lawndale buildings due to negligence and unpaid taxes.
Summer 2022 - APS chooses the final name for the merged school - Garfield CLC - located on the original Garfield High School site. Students moved into the new CLC building that Fall.
Fall/Winter 2022 - After years of neglect, arsonists set fire to the former Smith Elementary and Lawndale Elementary School buildings. Lawndale is razed, Smith continues to decay, and unpaid property taxes grow to more than $180,000.
2023 - APS proposes closing Pfeiffer Elementary School as part of its Long Term Operational Planning.Task Force. The Kenmore High School building continues to remain closed without a plan.