Offer on table for former Highlands School District administration building
The Highlands School Board has buyers for the former administration building but isn't quite ready to sign on the dotted line.
Board Solicitor Lisa Colautti told the board on Monday night that two Harrison residents, John F. Barch and Joseph Thimons, submitted a proposal to buy the building, which the district vacated last year.
Attempts to reach the men for comment were unsuccessful. Colautti said Thimons is not related to board member Laura Thimons.
Colautti said the proposal, submitted through Czekalski Real Estate Inc., offers $145,000 for the structure, which is in a residential neighborhood on 11th Avenue in Harrison.She said Barch and Thimons indicated that the property would be used for elder care or a day care and that they would renovate the structure.
The board has asked for strict assurances that the property would not be used for low-income, Section 8 federal housing, and Colautti said the proposed agreement acknowledges that.
“Nothing prohibits them from selling this the day after the closing, and that buyer would not be bound by the agreement,” she said.
The district has agreed not to contest an appeal of the property's county assessment, Colautti said. She said the last assessment set the value of the property at more than $1 million.
Colautti said the district would likely have no interest in contesting the appeal. If it is successful, the assessment likely would be readjusted upward once renovations are completed.
Board member Ryan Hanford expressed reservations about the proposal.
“I think $145,000 is too low for that,” he said. However, attempts to sell the building, which once was Riverview Elementary School, yielded few offers.
Hanford said he would like Barch and Thimons to attend a board meeting to answer questions the board might have.
The rest of the board agreed with him. Colautti said she would ask the men to attend next Monday's regular board meeting.
Heights Elementary update
Colautti told the board that the agreement of sale for the Heights Elementary School is up for an extension.
She said RBG Development, which emerged in fall 2012 as a buyer for the former school on Freeport Road, is making progress on the project for which it wants to use the property.
RBG has an agreement with the district to buy the property for $1 million, contingent on obtaining the needed zoning approvals.
It intends to build a CVS pharmacy/retail store and a Sheetz gas station/convenience store.
Colautti said a traffic study is under way. It has to be done before PennDOT will approve the installation of a traffic light at Freeport Road and California Avenue that is essential to the project.She said CVS and Sheetz have retained their own zoning experts and are moving ahead with getting the required zoning approvals from Harrison officials.
The board will consider extending the agreement at next week's board meeting.
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Burrell’s curriculum evolves creatively
- Stretch of Route 56 to close
- Springdale Library to pay rent to borough
- Eagle Scout project gives Knoch High Stadium press box a face-lift
- Alle-Kiski Valley slips into the holiday spirit with Light Up Night festivities
- Freezing rain menaces Alle-Kiski Valley roadways
- Machinists ranked No. 1 occupation by Department of Labor
- Loose bricks force Tarentum road to remain closed through weekend
- Knoch graduate a success in male-dominant profession