Former Prices Fork Elementary School headed toward sale?
County supervisors last week formally accepted the school property from the school board. Supervisors Chairman Jim Politis said Wednesday that the next step is to determine if the property is more marketable with the school building on it or whether the 60-year-old structure should be demolished like the former Elliston-Lafayette Elementary School, which the county also is trying to sell.
The county Economic Development Office will coordinate the marketing of the Prices Fork property, county spokeswoman Ruth Richey wrote in an e-mail.
There has been talk of converting the school to a community center but Politis said supervisors’ priority remains to seek the “highest and best value” for the property.
Montgomery County is sinking $124.1 million into constructing two new high schools and substantially renovating an old high school to convert it to a middle school. The county also is nearing the completion of a $20 million courthouse. New debt from the school projects consumed most of the revenue from this year’s record 12-cent increase in the county’s real estate tax rate, which is now 87 cents per $100 value.
When supervisors approved the school construction plan, they said they planned to use proceeds from the eventual sale of unused school properties to help pay for it.
The county stands to gain $5.6 million from the sale of the old Blacksburg Middle School site in downtown Blacksburg if plans are carried out to build a new headquarters for advertising agency Modea and for residential and retail development.
According to county land records, the Elliston-Lafayette Elementary School site is assessed at $200,300. The land at the Prices Fork Elementary School site is assessed at $439,500 and the building at $1.2 million more.
The school board manages school properties, but cannot sell them. When the School Board declares a property to be surplus, its ownership transfers to the county supervisors.
School Board Chairman Wendell Jones said Wednesday that the school system soon will surrender two more properties, the former Blacksburg High School and the school administration offices on Junkin Street in Christiansburg. The school administration is moving to the county Government Center on Roanoke Street.
“Lots of real estate for them to move,” Jones said.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1669
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