McGuffey Elementary School Saved From Destruction

West Main Intermediate School in Newark, Ohio.

Steve Anderson purchased the former West Main Intermediate School for $90,000 at auction saving it from destruction.

It’s not to difficult to point out the waste by Newark City Schools. I’ve seen it more than a few times, but most notably when they tore down an elementary school on Deo Drive recently fully renovated with a new roof, windows, parking lot, HVAC system, and more. A few excuses were given like asbestos in the building, someone could buy it and let it fall into a state of disrepair and hurt surrounding property values, and that the lot was worth more with the building removed. Many don’t believe any of the excuses. It would seem common sense that a large solid brick structure with a gymnasium would be valuable to someone. The fact that the lot still sits empty on Deo Drive after many years is evidence that an empty lot isn’t of use to anyone.

AutomaticI was pleased to discover from Cultural Offering that blogger and real estate investor Steve Anderson bought the former West Main Intermediate School from Newark City schools for $90,000. This is great news. I’m sure that Mr. Anderson has paid far, far more than most by supporting Newark City Schools with property taxes he’s paid on his numerous properties in their district. I’m hoping that he gets a great return on his investment. This also means one less empty lot or eyesore in the area. 

The idea of finding an investor should be automatic! Of course, there’s no way to skim from a simple sale to a private investor. There is no demo crew to hire at an inflated price, no disposal fees to pay, no way for salvage crews to scavenge numerous items that are like new from recent improvements. There is just a buyer with an interest in making a profit and creating a usable facility for business. Sure, there’s not a huge profit in the $90,000 sale, but over time, there could be far more collected from any business that takes place here.

I find it interesting that the city claims it needs office space and is contemplating spending a massive amount of money on a new office building. They’ve torn down more office space than they need in a few locations. Private businesses have no problem making use of these structures as we can see with the old Mound School that Jobes, Henderson and Associates and Layton Services uses for their office space. After many years of private ownership, the old school still looks better than most buildings surrounding it and they’ve been great neighbors for those living in the area.

Mound School converted to offices in Newark, Ohio.

The former Mound School in Newark, Ohio successfully transformed into office space.

So, it’s been proven before that these solid old structures still have value to the taxpayers. Most likely, it will be proven again. Granted, the timing may not be exactly right for the sale of these structures. As the federal government drags down the private funds by providing the grants required to build new schools, there is less purchasing power available from the private sector to get high bids for the old schools. Over time, the money does come back the community and the sentimental value of the buildings remains intact.

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