Highlands to sell former Fawn elementary school | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Highlands to sell former Fawn elementary school

Brian C. Rittmeyer
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
The closed Highlands Support Center in Fawn on Monday, July 8, 2019. The school district is taking sealed bids for the property, formerly an elementary school and primary center, and has set a lowest acceptable bid of $500,000.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
A concrete turtle sits in front of the former Highlands Support Center in Fawn on Monday, July 8, 2019. District officials say they will keep the turtle, which had been moved to Fawn from the former Birdville school in Harrison.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
The closed Highlands Support Center in Fawn on Monday, July 8, 2019. The school district is taking sealed bids for the property, formerly an elementary school and primary center, and has set a lowest acceptable bid of $500,000.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
The “Kids Kountry” playground behind the former Highlands Support Center in Fawn on Monday, July 8, 2019.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
The “Kids Kountry” playground behind the former Highlands Support Center in Fawn on Monday, July 8, 2019.

Highlands School District is looking to sell its former elementary school in Fawn.

The school board approved soliciting sealed bids for the Highlands Support Center property at 5591 Ridge Road.

The district set $500,000 as the lowest acceptable bid, which was based on an appraisal of the property, according to school board President Debbie Beale.

According to Allegheny County real estate records, the school sits on nearly 15 acres. The building has an assessed value of $2.73 million, while the land is valued at $83,800.

Beale said the difference between the county’s assessed value and the value determined by the appraisal could be due to the property being zoned residential and its nonconforming, grandfathered use as a school. She questioned the accuracy of the county’s value, noting the building and property need work, including a new roof and paving.

“When was the last time anyone from the county came and looked at it?” she said.

Beale could not say when bids are due.

The building was an elementary school and primary center until the 2018-19 school year, when the district reconfigured and renamed its buildings in May 2018.

Following a state-required public hearing in February, the school board voted in May to permanently close the building at the end of the school year.

As a support center, the building housed the district’s partial hospital and alternative education programs.

District officials said the alternative education program will be moved to the high school. The school board voted to end the partial hospital program, which served students with mental health issues.

Beale said the district will keep a concrete turtle sitting in front of the school. The turtle was moved to Fawn from the former Birdville school in Harrison, where it was part of the playground there. The Birdville school closed in 1989 and now is home to Citizens Hose fire company.

The turtle could be moved to one of the district’s elementary schools in Tarentum or Brackenridge, Beale said.

Beale said “Kids Kountry,” the large playground structure that sits behind the school, would be sold as part of the property.

The playground dates to at least 1991, according to a plaque honoring its contributors and donors affixed to the school building.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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