A pair of former elementary school buildings in the Tunkhannock Area School District went on the auction block Saturday afternoon, with high bids offered from the same bidder.
Dobrinski Brothers of Falls which is involved in site excavation, construction and development offered the highest bid to Burke’s Shamrock Auctions of $280,000 for the former Evans Falls Elementary School in Monroe Township and $110,000 for the former Mill City Elementary School near Lake Winola, both in “as is” condition.
The purchase is contingent on preliminary approval of the Tunkhannock Area School Board, which will be having a special meeting that will only deal with the sale of the buildings on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m.
Before Saturday’s auction began, auctioneer Jerry Burke told those assembled that a private contractor told him either building would cost at least $1 million to build from scratch.
Although around 25 persons were assembled at the auction for both buildings at the Evans Falls site, the Evans Falls building attracted three serious sets of bidders, who started at $50,000; and the Mill City site attracted two serious sets of bidders, starting at $10,000.
Leo Dobrinski, who with brothers Kevin and Jason provide the name for the company with the greatest interest in the auction, said they have a couple of ideas they are thinking about and didn’t want to say anything before Tuesday’s meeting when they are hopeful the district follows through on their offers.
Both elementary school buildings - which served students in grades kindergarten through fourth - were closed in the wake of consolidation following the 2017-18 school year, which Board President Philip Farr said was caused by declining enrollments. Students district-wide now take all classes in Tunkhannock.
The Evans Falls school was built in 1978 and sits on a 24-acre site. The Mill City school was built in 1976 and sits on an 8-acre site.