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PURCHASE LINE: School directors hire auctioneer to sell school

by on March 12, 2013 10:50 AM

PURCHASE LINE — Despite some indecision, Purchase Line school board hired a Clearfield County auctioneer to sell the shuttered North Elementary School during a meeting Monday.

The board named auctioneer Pat Errigo, of Curwensville, to find a buyer for the 36-year-old school. The district closed the school at the end of last year due to declining enrollment.

Having Errigo auction the building will cost the district 4 percent of the sales price, plus $1,200 to cover advertising costs. Bidding will start at $135,000.

The board had trouble settling on an auctioneer because of concerns about auction costs. It took three rounds of voting before board members could find enough support among themselves on an auctioneer.

Others auctioneers seeking the job were Pete Stewart & Son Auctioneer, of Indiana; Total Auction Services, of Cherry Tree; and Bernard L. Owens, of Clearfield.

An auction date has not been set.

In other matters, the board agreed to begin looking into some security improvements at the elementary school and high school.

Acting on the suggestion of Director Jim Stiffer, the board said it would consult with an architect on installing a magnetic swipe card system at the high school as well as more security cameras at both the high school and elementary school.

In addition, Stiffler said he would like to see improvements made to the high school’s front entrance. He said he envisions an entrance in which visitors, once inside, are funneled into an office, just as it is at the elementary school.

Stiffler said that as it is now, there is no way to control where visitors go once they are buzzed in. Funneling foot traffic into an office would provide an additional layer of security, he said.

His recommendation comes in the midst of a building-security review being performed by the Pennsylvania State Police. Maintenance supervisor Carl Jones told the board that troopers are to review their findings with the district later this month.

Stiffler said he is making recommendations that already are contained in the district’s five-year plan. He also said the board can easily add to the list, if need be.

He said his intention is to get the planning under way now so that by the time students leave for summer vacation, the district will be ready to begin work.

Also last night, the board heard from Montgomery Township mother Windy Bartlebaugh, who lodged a complaint about the punishment her teenage son received for fighting another student last week.

Bartlebaugh said her son was suspended for three days and is being cited by state police as a result of the fight, which, she said, occurred after another boy threw a punch at her son unprovoked.

She said he acted strictly in self-defense

“If he’s not supposed to defend himself, what is he supposed to do?” she asked.

She told the board that she wanted to hear from them and would await a private explanation.

Sam Kusic is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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