The Washington Gardner School building in Albion is officially for sale.
The Albion School Board voted Tuesday to solicit bids on the vacant, 104-year old building with hopes of awarding a contract to the highest bidder by Aug. 9.
The school board closed the school on Michigan Avenue in December 2009, and several parties have recently inquired about buying it, including investors who are interested in turning it into low- to moderate-income housing, as well as a group from the Narconon Freedom Center drug and alcohol treatment facility.
Superintendent Frederick Clarke said at a meeting last month that the property was appraised for approximately $750,000 two years ago and would be appraised again.
He estimates the building costs the district $60,000 a year to keep up and that annual costs would be up to $135,000 if the district kept it for programming and/or public access.
District Accounting Supervisor Jon Waugh said 10 years and more than $4.6 million remain on a bond that helped fund renovations of the 120,000 square-foot building.
School board President Dan Skean said there is not a minimum starting bid price for the property, but there are other bidder requirements such as a background check and the ability to obtain financing.
The deed will also not be granted to a bidder who facilitates “preschool through grade 12 instructional programs which can compete with” the Albion school system.
“Bidders are asked to submit proper paperwork to Albion Public Schools by Aug. 1, and we then hope to evaluate the proposals and select the one that best meets the needs of the school district and community,” Skean said.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on May 11, 2011