For sale: One used school

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

LaHarpe Elementary School, closed effective June 30 as a cost-cutting measure by USD 257, will be offered for sale by sealed bids.
Board members voted Monday night to retain the right to reject bids. They did not put a reserve price on the structure, which has a replacement value of $868,350, according to insurance estimates.
Allen County has indicated some interest in the building, for 911 dispatch and emergency operations centers, as has LaHarpe, for a city hall or other municipal uses. Neither has made an offer. Dr. Craig Neuenswander, superintendent of schools, said an individual also had expressed interest.
Thrive Allen County had a session in the LaHarpe school Monday evening during which respondents commented on how the structure might be used by LaHarpe or Allen County. A report of that meeting appears elsewhere in today’s Register.
An option he mentioned was for the district to retain the building, “in the event we might need it someday for classroom space.”
The district also will seek bids for contract mowing of school grounds. That approach surfaced when board members were asked at their July 13 meeting to consider purchase of a new mower. Two employees hired for the summer have spent most of their time mowing.
Following 25 minutes of executive session, board members approved raises of 1.1 percent for administrators and 15 cents an hour for returning non-certified employees. They also increased the base salary for non-certified employees by 5 cents an hour, which would affect only new hires.
Neuenswander noted that an open house was scheduled Thursday evening for the building trades house in north Gas at 2 Barney Lane. He also told board members that Mitch and Peggy Sigg donated new scoreboards for the high school gymnasium, which will have capacity to score wrestling meets. The older scoreboards will be installed at the middle school gymnasium.