District to auction former school

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Going once. Going twice. Sold, to the individual willing to spend at least $25,000 on seven acres of land and a former school building.

Well, the former Rock Hill Elementary No. 1 building in Decatur is not sold yet — but could be later this month.

The school district has announced plans to sell the property at a public auction set for 10 a.m. June 24. Other items to be auctioned include computers, desks and school buses. But bidders will be warned that all items are “as is,” with no guarantees about the condition.

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“The real estate agent said he must include a disclaimer saying that the building did contain asbestos, and buried tanks or contaminated soil from any buried tanks,” Superintendent Lloyd Evans said about the approximately 7-acre site that closed to students in 2002. “In actuality, the property would probably be worth a lot more without the building.”

The board agreed it likely would cost thousands to remove all the asbestos from the site that lies along state Route 93.

The district was not required to set a minimum bid but the board opted to do so, setting it at $25,000 for all four parcels that the building and accompanying grounds occupy.

“I will go out there and bid on it if we are just going to give it away,” board member Wanda Jenkins said.

The building was appraised for $75,000 approximately five years ago, though that value has likely dropped significantly because of vandalism and depreciation, Evans said.

“Until the spring of 2006, the Decatur Volunteer Fire Department was housed in an annex on the property and the district has been using it for storage. They have provided some security,” Evans said. “Since the fire department moved out, there has been vandalism and a whole bunch of windows have been busted out.”