The five heirs of Adam and Rebecca Krumrine have no right to ask for the College Heights School building to be deeded back to them, the State College Area School District said in a filing Thursday.
C. William Garner, Helen Garbrick and Michael R., George T. and Edward W. Homan filed a lawsuit last week asking that the building be deeded back, citing the language of the 1926 transfer of the property from the Krumrines to the district, specifically “this plot of ground is to be used for school purpose and a school building is to be erected therein by September 1st, 1931. If no school building is erected ... this deed is to be null and void and of no effect, full title to the property to revert to the granters, their heirs and assigns.”
The school district shot back with a point-by-point rebuttal of the Garner, Garbrick and Homan claims.
First, district solicitor Scott Etter and fellow counsel Michael Levandoski attacked the provision of the deed demanding reversion to the Krumrines.
SCASD points to the fact that the school was constructed within the required time period, but says that the “used for school purposes” language is “superfluous” and doesn’t spell out that the property would have to be returned if a building used as a school stopped being used as a school.
College Heights was taken out of service as an elementary school and used for other district purposes more than 40 years ago.
But even if that language was part of the deed, the district’s response said the lawsuit is premature.
“While the real property ... has been listed for sale, defendant has not transferred legal ownership,” the district’s filing states.
SCASD is set to sell the property to Penn State for $400,000. It is on track to become the new home for University Press. Earlier this month, State College Borough Council waived its right of first refusal to purchase the building.
Lastly, the district wants to know just who the heirs are, and if there are any others.
The Garner, Garbrick and Homan suit does not detail the five plaintiffs’ relationships to the Krumrines or list any other possible heirs who might be entitled to similar claims to the property, SCASD argues. The response even attaches a copy of Adam Krumrine’s will, listing his heirs as his wife and their two daughters, Katie P. Reed and Mary Garner.
That will does give trustees of the Krumrine estate the “full power and authority” to handle business specifically relating to building lots, through both public and private sales, owned by the Krumrines in “the plot known as ‘College Heights Addition,’ ” with proceeds going to the estate.