CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield school board discussed the fate of its unused school buildings at Monday night’s committee meetings.
The district consolidated its classrooms into the Clearfield Area Elementary School and the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School in 2014-15.
In August of 2015, the district auctioned off the contents of the former Clearfield Area Middle School and the Centre Elementary School. The district was unable to sell the former Centre Elementary during or after its school building auction.
Additionally, the district recently settled the Girard-Goshen Elementary School roof litigation. It currently isn’t using the former middle school and the two, former elementary school buildings.
Superintendent Terry Struble started off discussions regarding the former middle school. He proceeded to present the board with two options.
The first option, he said, was to appraise the former middle school and list it with a realtor. Or, he said bids could be solicited for demolition of the building.
Struble noted if the board wanted to proceed with a realtor, it would require an appraisal. Board President Larry Putt said that this route would be extremely costly, and it wasn’t likely the district would even sell the building.
Board member Tim Morgan asked if the board proceeded with the bid process for demolition, if it had to accept one. Struble said no.
Although he’s only been in the Clearfield area a couple years, Struble said he was concerned that if the district proceeded with a realtor and it resulted in a sale, the former middle school would still sit and fall down.
“It wouldn’t be good for the community,” he said. Board member Jennifer Wallace asked if it would be possible to demolish the school part and renovate the gymnasium and auditorium area to rent out for events.
Rick Bunning, director of buildings and grounds, said it had been discussed in the past. However, he said it would require the district “to put a lot of money into it.” Putt said he couldn’t imagine the district spending any money on the former middle school.
Bunning said it currently looks like people went through and set off grenades inside. Board members agreed the district wouldn’t sell it and should consider seeking bids for its demolition.
Next, Struble said the board would need to consider two motions regarding the former Girard-Goshen Elementary School. He said the first would be to authorize the administration to proceed with an auction of its loose contents.
He said the board would also have to decide whether or not it wanted to auction the building at the time of its contents auction or to appraise and list it with a realtor.
Struble pointed out Girard-Goshen was appraised as part of the litigation process. He said the building was appraised at zero due to the structural issues with its roof.
However, he said the former elementary school still has solid walls and comes with around 28.7 acres of land. When asked, Struble said the district doesn’t have the mineral rights for the land.
Struble, when asked, said that he didn’t have the figure for the value of the land in front of him at the board meeting.
Wallace asked if the district proceeded with auctioning off the school, if it could set a reserve price. Struble said that would be possible, and it could be discussed by the board in executive session.
Struble said the district wanted to propose keeping the former Centre Elementary School. He said the district could use the former school for record storage, to hold large group trainings and for other purposes.
Finally, Struble said the district has been in contact with representatives with both Morten Buildings and Lezzer Lumber regarding specs for a maintenance facility.
Struble said the district will present specs from both companies for the board’s discussion and consideration.