The first steps to divest the local school district of a building on Pine Street took place Tuesday.
Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education agreed Tuesday to move forward and take the initial steps to place the former Board of Education building and bus garage at 3 N. Pine St. on the auction block. Board members authorized Operations Director Mike Watt to begin the process to auction the school building and property that location with a reserve price to be set.
“This just means we are ready to move forward, it does not mean we are ready to do so,” Superintendent Keith Horner said during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting at Wapakoneta High School. “We are preparing for that process to auction off the property and we are preparing to transform our facilities.”
As part of the transformation, Horner said they would move personnel to different buildings, such as Food Supervisor Lori McKean to the Wapakoneta City Schools Administration Building or to Wapakoneta High School and Transportation Supervisor Dave Tangeman to either of those buildings or to a new bus garage.
“We will need a bus bay at some point to take care of our buses and that would be built at the bus lot because right now we are not real efficient in having everybody traveling back and forth to do take care of the buses,” Horner said after the meeting. “We have enough interest out there to auction that building even if we are not necessarily ready to start the construction yet.”
The new bus garage would house two bus mechanics and likely Tangeman and would consist of two bus bays. Horner said preliminary estimates have the bus building consisting of 4,000- to 5,000-square feet.
Watt said an appraisal of the Pine Street property was approximately $200,000 with a resale market value between $100,000 and $150,000. The money from the sale of the property will likely be returned to the general fund, since this is where Treasurer Susan Rinehart told him the money came to construct the building.
Watt also said the bus garage would be an addition to an existing building at the bus lot. They are looking at design-build structures and school administrators are meeting with architects Thursday to discuss the school’s options.
Horner said the moves are being made to save money in the long run.
“As we look to the future, we are attempting to look for some of that space for offices in existing buildings here at the high school and the administration building,” Horner said. “Right now we are not real efficient and this is the process to initiate the auctioning of the building and getting that process moving forward.”