UNION COUNTY — What is the best way for the Union County School District to divest itself of the old and increasingly dilapidated Carlisan School, Adamsburg School, and Excelsior Middle School?
That’s the question that will be answered by a study of the properties authorized Monday night by the Union County Board of School Trustees. The motion was made by Trustee Jantzen Childers and seconded by Trustee Wanda All and approved unanimously by the board.
The study, according to District Finance Director Lynn Lawson, will include:
• An updated survey of the properties.
• An appraisal of the buildings and their contents to assign a market value to them.
• An examination the buildings and their contents by salvage contractors to determine if there is some salvage value the district might realize.
In his address to the board, Lawson explained that the buildings, which are no longer used as schools, are an increasing liability for district, a liability that will only increase in the years ahead. Lawson said that the Carlsan building has been repeatedly vandalized over the years because of its relatively isolated location. He said that after it ceased being a school, the Adamsburg facility was used for a number of years by Duraco, but has been unused since the company ceased operations leaving a large amount of its textile manufacturing equipment there.
As for Excelsior, Lawson said that it was closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year because of the construction of Sims Middle School which opened in the fall of 2009. He said that not long after it was closed, the school was the target of metal thieves who broke in and ripped out and stole copper wire destroying the electrical system in the building making it unusable.
Lawson proposed that the board authorize the study of the properties including the survey, appraisal, and salvage review to help determine the means of disposing of the properties that will best benefit the district. He pointed out that in the case of Carlsan, the study will also include a timber evaluation of the site which has 18-20 acres of pine and hardwood. Lawson said that the evaluation will help determine whether or not the timber should be sold separately or sold with the rest of the property to ensure the district gets the best value possible.
In addition, Lawson pointed out that the appraisal of the properties and their contents will include the textile equipment left behind by Duraco at the Adamsburg School. While the equipment is old, Lawson said it is possible that they may have some salvage value, something that the salvage contractors will help determine.
Lawson stressed that the goal of this process is to liquidate the properties and the liabilities they pose for the district as long as it owns them. He said the hope is that the study will determine the best method of doing so that maximizes the benefit the district can receive from their liquidation. All this will then be submitted to the board for review and approval.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.