Renovations continue at the former Wells school building in Canton

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  The former Wells Elementary School is still in progress. 

Gary Gergley renovated

Designed by his daughter Kynsey Wilson, plans to convert the building southwest of McKinley Avenue into a family and community center. But her plan changed. He changed from an assistant to the project leader.

Gegley said: "Kinsey fell in love. Her family is in South Carolina."

She bought the three-story brick school in February 2019. The school was established in 1926 and became the Guangzhou School District Office in 1983. The school was completely closed in 2008 and has remained vacant.

Part of the first floor is now complete, with Gergley's office and meeting room, where he trains people to run their own insurance company for American National. He lives in Zoar, but spends most of the time on the school property, which is still listed under a limited liability company.

The exterior of the building has also been completed and has 3,000 new window panes. Gergley hopes to complete the construction of the entire first floor before the summer so that it can be used for community gatherings and Wells school gatherings. 

What will happen to these three floors is yet to be determined.

He said: "I will provide space where the public can tell me what they want and want to have." 

There was a request from Gergley to use the room for art, engineering and filmmaking procedures. He hopes to create a non-profit organization "hidden talents" to coordinate such work. 

A room intended to be rented out as a corporate group has whiteboards, pool tables and fixed animal heads. Gerry also talked about the school's potential as a wedding venue and said that if he can obtain a liquor license, he can use the cafeteria as a bar.

More directly, he has been struggling to obtain the engineering and construction plans needed to reconnect the utility to the building. Gerry said he has spent $10,000 on the water supply system that has not been repaired. 

He said: "This is unexpected."

He declined to say how much money he invested in the entire project. in

, His daughter estimated that the renovation cost totaled nearly $90,000

Gerry said he kept costs under control by visiting auction houses and antique shops. He found a gym basketball board at a middle school auction in northeastern Ohio. The retail price may be several thousand dollars and the price is 700 dollars. He and his fiancée Julie Jordan traveled all over Ohio, replacing the auditorium chairs by picking them up on the things they were going to destroy in the church. 

The first floor is equipped with a world globe, school gate signs and other academic furniture. Most of the items do not come from the Wells school, but Gerry said he is interested in any souvenirs people have. 

He started to update

Once again on the Facebook page to show the progress of the building, and said that this is the best way to contact him.  

Gerry said that he intends to "give this place back to life" and hopes to inspire the living standards of the surrounding residents. 

Contact Kelly at 330-580-8323 or

On Twitter: @kbyerREP

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