The State College area school board of directors held a mandatory public hearing on Monday to discuss the future of the Lemont Elementary School building.
In March, the district announced plans to construct a new elementary school building on the current Houserville Elementary School property, demolish the existing Houserville school and close Lemont. Children from the Lemont and Houserville schools will be combined into the new, multistory school, but the district’s options for the Lemont building were not publicly discussed until Monday.
State College Area School District solicitor Scott Etter said the district can dispose of any unused property in one of three ways: public auction, sealed bid or private sale.
Recently, the district used a sealed bid method for the Matternville building and executed a private sale for the Boalsburg elementary and College Heights buildings, according to Etter.
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In the event of a private sale, two parties familiar with the local real estate market agree upon a fair-market value for the property, but the sale must be approved by a Court of Common Pleas judge, according to Etter.
The district could also convey the building, located at 675 Elmwood Street, to College Township or a nonprofit entity for less than market value, but Etter said he is unaware of a circumstance when the district used the option.
The nine-member board must have a five-vote majority for all options with the exception of a municipality conveyance, which requires six votes, according to Etter.
In June, the board approved the 60 percent design plans for the new building submitted by Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, an architectural firm from Mechanicsburg. The school is estimated to cost about $20.6 million.
While all options were discussed, the board did not take action on Monday, and Etter said it is possible that the board will not make a final decision until after the new Houserville Elementary School is opened for the 2019-20 school year.
Lemont Elementary School will remain in operation until the construction of the new school is complete, according to the district’s Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik.