Another volley has been fired in the College Heights lawsuit.
The family of Adam and Rebecca Krumrine, the couple who deeded the land where the former school building was built more than 80 years ago, answered questions posed by State College Area School District last month in an “amended complaint” filed in the Centre County Prothonotary’s Office on Friday.
The lawsuit, brought by C. William Garner, Helen Garbrick and Michael R., George T. and Edward W. Homan, asks that the former elementary school building be deeded back, citing the language of the original transfer that states “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.”
In the July filing, district solicitors Scott Etter and Michael Levandoski opposed the suit on numerous grounds, from the fact that the building was constructed by the required deadline to the lack of specific direction on the return of the property if a school was built and ceased to be used.
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The College Heights building has not been used as an elementary school for more than 40 years. Most recently, it has been the home of the district’s printing services and curriculum staff.
The district also questioned the five plaintiffs’ relationship to the Krumrines and whether there were additional heirs.
In their response, they answered that with a copy of their family tree. All five are great-grandchildren of the couple. Garbrick and Garner are the grandchildren of the Krumrines’ daughter Christina Mary Garner, who died in 1976. The Homans are the grandchildren of their other daughter, Catharine P. Reed, who died in 1961. The Krumrines both died in 1932, just a year after the building of the school. Their daughters are listed as heirs in Adam Krumrine’s will, which the district attached in its last filing.
The new filing also includes an additional exhibit, a letter from Etter to the heirs’ attorney, G. Scott Gardner, of Williamsport, dated Jan. 30.
“As to your request that you be kept abreast, I presume that both your clients and you are aware that the (d)istrict has determined that the building is underused and unnecessary for its future plans, and the (d)istrict has, therefore, considered selling the property,” the letter states, adding that Penn State had made an offer to use the property for office space for the University Press.
The district is now set to sell the property to Penn State for $400,000.