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Shuttered Wood County schools up for auction

The former McKinley Elementary School will be up for auction on Friday at 1 p.m. located 1130 19th Street. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Two former Wood County school buildings and their property will be up for purchase in a public auction Friday.

After being closed down in the spring of 2020, the former Worthington and McKinley Elementary schools will be auctioned off to the public.

Worthington will be the first auction taking place at 10 a.m. Friday outside the front of the building where the former office used to be at 10 a.m. at 2500 36th St.

McKinley’s auction will be outside the main entrance on the front lawn at 1 p.m. at 1130 19th St.

Michael Fling, Wood County Assistant Superintendent of Support Services, said the auctions are bittersweet, as those two schools have a rich history of serving the community during their time, but there are a lot of issues with the buildings the district cannot address.

The former Worthington Elementary School will be up for auction on Friday at 10 a.m. located at 2500 36th Street. (Photo Provided)

“It is bittersweet, there’s a rich history, obviously with McKinley. It served a lot of people, the building opened in 1904. It’s still in pretty good shape. But there’s a lot of issues that we cannot address,” Fling said. “There’s ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance and some other issues in the buildings that we would have to start from scratch. We hope that the buildings get utilized in some way and still serve the community that has served us for many, many years.”

The Worthington property has three lots in the deed book. The sale will not include the baseball fields, playground or basketball court. Fling said Wood County Schools is in the process of donating those fields to a group of organizations, including Worthington Little League, as well as Wood County REC and Parkersburg High School girls softball program.

McKinley’s property has five lots recorded in the deed book and will include the school building and the playground.

Fling said he plans to go an hour early to each location to open up the buildings so that potential buyers can have the opportunity to look inside before giving a bid. Furniture in the buildings will be included in the purchase.

The auctions will be run by Rocky Peck who has been an auctioneer in years past for Wood County Schools.

According to the legal advertisement, the terms of the sale are 20 percent of the purchase price by cash or check with a bank letter in hand on the day of the sale with the remainder due at closing. A minimum bid applies.

The property is conveyed in as-is condition with no covenants of warranty, subject to unpaid property taxes. Purchaser shall pay all costs of recording the deed as prepared by the Wood County Board of Education. The Wood County Board of Education reserves the right to refuse any and all bids.

The sale of the buildings will also relieve the district’s utility cost. Fling said fire marshals requested that Wood County Schools keep all the systems going until the buildings are no longer in possession, from having to keep gas, electric and water turned on.

It will also save the district by not having maintenance crews take care of the property, including mowing the grass and keeping the buildings dry.

“The way the buildings are right now, the fire marshal has requested that we keep all systems going until the buildings are no longer in our possession, you’re talking 40,000 square feet, so we’re looking forward to that piece. It’s going to remove some things from our plate that we wouldn’t have to deal with every time,” Fling said.

Contact Tyler Bennett at tbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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