by Jonathan Weaver
Armstrong School District has now completed its sale of a former elementary school.
Last Fall, school officials voted to sell Kittanning Township Elementary to Tim Fouse Excavating for $88,000.
Monday afternoon, school officials took their case to Armstrong County President Judge Kenneth Valasek.
“The statute under which the school district operates requires the approval of the Court of Common Pleas during a private sale,” Judge Valasek explained.
Solicitor Lee Price represented the school district and asked questions of School Superintendent Stan Chapp – the lone witness during the hearing.
Chapp said it was “absolutely” the best decision to sell the property to Fouse.
The school, currently not used for any school purposes, was closed in June 2012.
School district officials initially sought offers for the property in February 2013. There were two offers quickly received, totaling $50,000 and $65,000 from unknown bidders, respectively, but both were rejected in hopes of receiving a higher price.
For five months, from August to December 2013, the space was leased to a furniture dealer at a final cost of nearly $15,350.
After that lease expired, school district officials again sought sale offers in Spring 2014. An $85,000 offer was received from CWM Environmental, Inc. of Rayburn Township, and that offer was accepted, but later voided after CWM Environmental withdrew their proposal.
In August, three more offers were received, the highest from Fouse at $88,000.
The Armstrong School District will retain mineral rights at the former school.
Fouse, who currently operates his business along Silvis Hollow Road in Kittanning Township, hopes to use the space for storage and to rent offices.
No residents attended the hearing to oppose the sale.
Judge Valasek found all the prerequisites for the sale were satisfied and signed the order
“As soon as he’s ready to go, we’ll be ready to go,” Price concluded. “This was the last thing we had to do.”
The hearing lasted about 10 minutes, but was delayed due to a previously-scheduled private hearing.