By MARINA WATERS
Boones Creek Middle School has been empty since the new Boones Creek School was built. Now the building and 12-acre property will be up for sale after the Washington County Board of Education set the price at $2 million.
The BOE voted to set the property and building’s price at the board’s called meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23, in a 6-2 vote. Annette Buchanan, Jason Day, Todd Ganger, David Hammond, Phillip McLain and Mitch Meredith were in favor. Mary Beth Dellinger and Keith Ervin were opposed. Chad Fleenor was absent.
“Our board policy suggests rationale for you all to declare it retired,” Director of School Bill Flanary said. “The cost (of retaining the building) would be my rationale.”
The county’s department of education is currently paying around $8,400 a month to maintain the old middle school building. For some board members, that amount served as the main motivator to sell the property at $2 million rather than a higher price.
“I’d like to ask (for a higher pricer the property), but as of this February,” Hammond said, “we’ve already spent $76,000 to keep that building.”
The Brokers Realty & Auction, who won the bid as the BOE’s realtor for the property, suggested the board place the property on the market for $2 million following Garrison Appraisal Services’s $1.7 million appraisal for the property in April of 2019.
However, some board members felt the price should be set above $2 million.
“I think it will bring more than $2 million,” Dellinger said. “It’s worth more than that. I think nothing has been factored in about the new (growth) coming in there. (The price for land there) is just going to go up. I think we could get more than $2 million. I’d rather ask for more. I’d like to ask for $2.3 million.”
Ervin made a motion to amend Meredith’s motion to set the property price at $2 million to $2.5 million. That motion failed in a 2-6 vote, with Dellinger and Ervin voting in favor.
“My opinion is we could always come down (on the price). You can’t ever go up,” Ervin said. “I’m like Mary Beth, I feel like in the last 30 days it’s been talked about Boones Creek, Boones Creek, Boones Creek.”
However, Flanary said an email he received from one of the realtors with The Brokers Realty and Auction said if the board set the price 110% above the suggested price, the group wouldn’t want to list it.
“We will work hard at that ($2 million) price,” Bryan Sangid, a broker and realtor with The Brokers Realty and Auction, said at the meeting. “My partner made a statement earlier that if we go above that, it’s going to be difficult to sell. It just is. It’s going to be very difficult.”
Sangid said it would be possible for a potential buyer to extend the residential area in the back part of the property and put retail in the front. But it all came down to finding the right buyer.
“We need to find the right user to get the most out of that property,” Sangid said. “It’s hard to sell potential and there’s a lot of potential out there. But that’s all it is right now.”