After the Tunkhannock Area School District had unsuccessful results from a sealed bid process last fall, a live auction this weekend may determine the future of two of its former elementary schools.
The school district closed its elementary schools in Evans Falls, Mill City and Mehoopany during its consolidation ahead of the 2018-19 school year, opting to send all K-2 students to Roslund Elementary School in Tunkhannock.
Last spring, the Tunkhannock Area School Board decided to sell the Evans Falls and Mill City buildings.
“Our main objective is to eliminate the operational expenses associated with those two buildings,” said TASD Chief Operating Officer Shane Powers.
Even though the buildings are no longer occupied, the district must still pay for their upkeep, which costs $7-8,000 per month, per building. This number typically fluctuates depending on fuel usage, Powers said.
The district does not plan to sell the Mehoopany building, which houses HANDS of Wyoming County among other early childhood programs, and now Child Hunger Outreach Partners.
Tunkhannock Area first underwent a sealed bid process for the buildings, and public walk-thrus saw interest from people with different repurposing ideas. In the end, only one bid of $50,000 was received for the Evans Falls building at the October deadline, which the district denied. No bids were submitted for Mill City.
The district turned to its next option: a live auction. This Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Evans Falls school, those interested in the buildings could place bids in person or over the phone through Shamrock Auction Services.
Separately, the district is holding an online auction for the contents of the buildings until Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. On Jan. 19 at the Mill City school, the public can see the contents of both buildings in an open house from 2 to 4 p.m.
Through the contents auction, Powers said buyers could find a variety of office furniture, such as desks and bookcases. There are also miscellaneous items, including books for all age levels and old classroom technology, such as projectors.
Evans Falls kitchen equipment will first be offered to the highest bidder of the building. If the bidder refuses, the district will incorporate the equipment into the contents auction. The Mill City kitchen equipment is already included in the contents auction.
To access the online auction, visit shamrockauctions.net.
The district has discussed setting minimum bid amounts for the buildings with Shamrock Auctions, but Powers said this information is not public.
Potential buyers could participate in final building walk-thrus ahead of the auction this Friday, Jan. 10 at noon (Mill City) and 2:30 p.m. (Evans Falls).
Powers said she and TASD Director of Facilities John Shepulski could answer questions about the buildings, while questions related to the auctioning process should be directed to Shamrock Auctions.
Information about the buildings sale is also available on tasd.net.