Money Matters

The New Castle school district had a goal of selling its three closed elementary buildings before the cold of winter.

The district has succeeded in three successful transactions that the administrators anticipate will be closed before the end of the year.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge J. Craig Cox Friday granted the district’s petitions for selling two of the former schools — the West Side and Thaddeus Stevens buildings — to private owners.

The district is selling the former West Side School on West Washington Street to Patches Place, a mental health agency, for $91,000.

The former Thaddeus Stevens School on East Washington Street is going to Disability Options Network for $75,000.

The district and the two agencies have sales agreements for the transactions and were awaiting the court’s approval, because neither offer was as high as the formal appraisals the district had secured for those buildings.

The school district also has received payment in full from Ted Saad of Word of Life Christian Fellowship for the purchase of the former John F. Kennedy School on Laurel Boulevard.

As of last week, Saad had not paid the full amount because he was attempting to buy insurance on the building.

Saad said Monday he has obtained insurance, and district superintendent John J. Sarandrea said Friday the district now has a check in hand from Saad and it is paid in full.

The sale price was $152,000, which is $2,000 more than the appraised value.

Solicitor Charles Sapienza said the property will change ownership as soon as the deed is transferred.

Sapienza and Sarandrea represented the district at Friday’s court hearing.

The district had advertised for bids for the purchase of the three buildings. Disability Options Network submitted the only offer for Thaddeus Stevens.

Sapienza told the judge, “The district believes this is a fair price,” regarding Thaddeus.

The building and property were appraised at $120,000.

Attorney James Manolis representing Disability Options Network, attended on behalf of the agency.

The district initially had received an offer of $10,000 for West Side School but rejected it because it was too low.

The board voted to readvertise for private negotiations and received two offers, one from a day care center and one from Patches Place.

After entering a price competition, the day care center dropped out and the district accepted the Patches Place offer, pending court approval.

The appraised value of that building is $110,000.

Patches Place was represented in court by attorney George Freed.

There were no public objections to the sale of either building.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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