South Street sale OK’d

United Refining Company, you’ve got yourself a vacant school.

On Monday, the Warren County School District board of directors, in an 8-0 vote with one abstention, approved the sale of the former South Street Early Learning Center to United Refining Company, the only entity that submitted a bid after the parcels were put up for sale last December.

Region I representative Patricia Rosenstein abstained from the vote.

The school district, which had 120 days from the date of the bid opening in January to make a decision whether or not to sell the building, will receive $129,962.52 as a result of the sale.

The vote was held without discussion during Monday evening’s school board meeting.

The district, as well as building contractors at the district’s other construction projects, have used the building for storage since it was closed when kindergarten and first grade were consolidated with grades two through five at the Warren Area Elementary Center for the current school year.

In January, Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, the district’s director of buildings and grounds, said that, although only one bid was received, other entities expressed interest in the property.

Of those other entities, “They were unable to collect their funding or their program was (not) in order to bid on it,” he said.

Discussion had taken place about whether the South Street building might be needed to house students and/or programs from Warren Area High School during an upcoming renovation.

“There has been some discussion,” Superintendent William Clark said in January. “South Street would be a possibility to put one of the grade levels during renovation. (We) might want to hold onto that building a little bit longer.”

At the time, the board elected to not act on the bid received from United.

The school board’s Physical Plant and Facilities Committee voted to forward United Refining’s bid to the full board for consideration at its last meeting in late March.