The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 10, 2012

McKinsey Elementary property gets no bids at public auction

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — No one bid on the site of one of Ashtabula Area City School District’s former elementary schools Friday.

The school board approved the property sale Sept. 19 after it agreed to close and demolish McKinsey Elementary School, 1113 Bunker Hill Road, at the end of last school year.

Friday’s public auction began at noon at the board’s office, 2630 W. 13th St., (the former Thomas Jefferson Elementary School).

One spectator showed up for the auction.

Superintendent Joseph Donatone, who was in charge of the auction, said he only expected one or two people.

The bids could not be less than the appraisals, he said.

Before the bidding began, Donatone said the successful bidder will be asked to deposit 10 percent of the bid at the auction. The rest of the money is due at the time of closing, on March 13 or earlier.

Bidding opened at $57,000 — the minimum required by the school board. When no one bid on the McKinsey property, Donatone closed the bidding.

Following the auction, Donatone was presented  with a proposal from a private buyer which the school board will consider in executive session at its next meeting, slated for 6 p.m. Thursday at Lakeside High School.

In March, the school board put old Ashtabula High School, 401 W. 44th St., on the auction block, to no avail.

The bidding started at $155,000. The property included the school, Ball Gym and 4.3 acres of land. It did not include the playground and parking area behind the Ashtabula Public Library.

Nearly three years ago, the school board decided that the library would have first option to buy that property, Donatone said.

When no one bid on Ashtabula High, Donatone closed the bidding.

Since that time, the school board decided to demolish the nearly 100-year-old school and the gym, saving some items for recycling, storage and safe-keeping.

Right now, the school and gym are down and clean up work is under way.