Finalizing sale of former Rock Hill elementary hits roadblock

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP — “A tremendous discrepancy.”

That’s the way one Rock Hill School Board member described a snafu with the sale of the former Rock Hill Elementary School No. 1.

The board auctioned the old Decatur school in June and Neil Evans was the successful bidder.

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But Evans, son of superintendent Lloyd Evans, told the board Tuesday evening that he has had the property surveyed and the site is probably not the seven acres he was told it was when he bid on the site; it is only slightly over three acres, according to representatives of Exline Surveying of Jackson. A fence on the north end of the property sets on an adjoining piece of land.

“I still want the property,” he said. “But I have a couple of requests. I wonder if the board is willing to approve a fence line on the north border and the second request is that the board consider lowering the bid price.”

Neil Evans bid $71,500 and has paid a 10 percent deposit thus far.

No one is sure how the discrepancy occurred in the first place, or when. What to do about the problem was the subject of debate.

Lloyd Evans said the school district should establish the correct property line and seek a legal opinion on the matter. Others said the matter was settled, for good or for ill, when Neil Evans successfully put forth his bid.

“I don’t know what we can do, I don’t. When we auctioned this off, you bid on this,” board member Wanda Jenkins said.

“But I thought it was seven acres,” Neil Evans countered.

“I think we need to address this,” board member Dennie Hankins said. “He (Neil Evans) was under the assumption from board records that such and such an acreage was there and I think it falls under the board’s responsibility that we act in good faith and act on this right down the line.”

Fellow member Paul R. Johnson agreed. “If someone sold me seven acres of land and I only got three, I’d be one mad dude,” he said.

Board member Lavetta Sites said all of this could have been avoided if the property had been surveyed prior to the sale — something she had wanted to do and was told it was unnecessary.

In other matters, the board asked Lloyd Evans to get price quotes on the construction of a new maintenance building. Members also approved continuation of the AAA driver education program for high school students and scheduled an in-service training program for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 21.