Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 23, 2013

Ashland BOE trying to sell former office

Mike James
The Independent

ASHLAND — For sale: Older brick fixer-upper, good starter home for young school or business. Plenty of office space, bonus basement gym.

Almost two years after moving its offices to the former Hatcher Elementary School building, the Ashland Board of Education is trying to sell its former headquarters on Central Avenue.

The district tried last year to sell the building through the bid process but didn’t get any bids, business manager Tim Walters said.

Walters has talked to a couple of potential buyers who may be interested in negotiating a sale, but talks haven’t gone any further than that.

The building’s appraised value is $160,000 and the district will be looking to get at least that much for it. “I’m not saying we couldn’t sell it for less, but there would be more steps we would have to take,” Walters said.

State law allows a negotiated sale if the district can get the appraised value or “a reasonable price,” said Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Rebecca Blessing. The definition of “reasonable price” is unclear, she said.

The district also could sell the building at auction, she said.

The building, originally the home of Ashland Junior College, the predecessor of Ashland Community and Technical College, is aging and has multiple issues, including outmoded heating and wiring systems.

Asbestos abatement also may be a factor, probably in floor tiles, according to Walters.

The building has been sealed for security, the water supply has been turned off and lines drained. Electricity is still on but use is negligible.

The only significant expense is insurance, which runs about $3,000 per year. If a sale can be closed by June 30, the end of the fiscal year, the district can avoid another insurance payment.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.