Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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September 13, 2010

Library bids on Lincoln building

Kokomo School Board will consider sale of former school.

Kokomo — The Kokomo School Board will consider selling the former Lincoln Elementary School to the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library at its meeting today.

Superintendent Jeff Hauswald said the building has become available during the reorganization, and plans originally called for disposal of the unused buildings.

Lincoln is currently home to The Crossing alternative school, which is leasing the building from the corporation. The board had planned to move The Crossing to Columbian School after the library moves out. The former elementary school has been the library’s temporary home while the downtown library is renovated.

He said the corporation advertised for bids for the building, and received one, from the library. The school board had said the minimum bid it would consider is $150,000.

Library Director Charles Joray said the library board wants to use the former school for its outreach and collection management departments, which were moved out of the main library and are currently in temporary facilities.

He said the library board bid $104,000 for the Lincoln building, because an inspection showed the roof needs to be replaced. Estimated cost for the roof replacement was $46,000, he said, so his board subtracted that amount from the minimum bid.

Hauswald said The Crossing board is happy with the Lincoln building, and the school board is also considering its possible future facilities needs, including need for a supply warehouse.

Hauswald said he is also studying enrollment trends to see if there is growing enrollment where there is an empty school building.

He said the corporation may be better off leasing buildings than selling, because if the corporation needs a building later, it would be less expensive to re-open one it owns than to build new.

He said the board is considering if it would be more cost effective to use one of its existing buildings for storage or to sell a building.

“A lot of our facilities are being used. We’re also hesitant to dispose of facilities until we know which we have the least amount of use for.”

The board will meet at 6 p.m. in the corporation administrative office, 100 W. Lincoln Road.

• Danielle Rush is the Kokomo Tribune education reporter. She can be reached at 765-454-8585 or danielle.rush@kokomotribune.com.

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