Towanda School Board votes to sell land to businessman Randy B. Williams
TOWANDA - The Towanda Area School Board on Monday voted to sell 3.48 acres of vacant land, located on state Route 187 in Wysox, to Towanda businessman Randy B. Williams.
The school board voted unanimously to sell the property to Williams for $107,000.
Under the motion that was passed by the school board, the school district will retain ownership of the subsurface mineral rights on the property.
The land, which is L-shaped, is located next to and behind the former Wysox Elementary School building, which faces state Route 187.
Towanda school officials said they did not know what Williams will do with the land, but school board President Pete Alesky said that Williams will probably use the land in conjunction with the former Wysox Elementary School building, which he purchased approximately 1 1/2 years ago.
Since the early part of last summer, the school district has been advertising that the vacant land was for sale.
The school district had offered to sell the land for $321,000 or a buyer's best offer.
Williams was the only individual who offered to purchase the land, school board members said. There were two other individuals who made inquiries about purchasing the land, but they did not make an offer, board members said.
The asking price of $321,000 "was just a figure we threw out there," one school board member said.
The school district has no use for the vacant land, Alesky said.
While there was no discussion at Monday's meeting before the vote took place, Alesky said the school board had talked about the sale of the land previously.
"We hashed this out a lot before" in executive, or closed-door, sessions, he said.
In 2010, the school district transferred ownership of the Wysox Elementary School building, along with the 2.6-acre parcel on which it is located, to the descendants of Louis and Georgia Piollet of Wysox. The Piollets had donated the land for the school in 1922.
According to language in the deed for the school, the school building had to revert to the Piollets or their descendants if the school district was no longer using it.
The school district abandoned the school during the 2000s as part of its school consolidation project, which involved consolidating all of the district's students on its campus in Towanda. After moving its students out of the Wysox Elementary School, the school district had continued to use the building as a storage site for a several years before abandoning the building completely.
A total of 3.48 acres of school district property at the Wysox school site was free and clear of the deed restriction, and it is that 3.48 acres that the school district voted to sell Monday to Williams.
Williams purchased the school from the descendants of Louis and Georgia Piollet, Alesky said.
School board members said Monday night that they did not know what Williams would do with the school.
Williams "has done a lot of work on the building" since he bought it, Alesky said after the meeting.
"He repaired what needed to be repaired," Alesky said. "The building was in dire need of repair."
Under state law, the sale of the 3.48 acres now needs to be approved by a judge of the Common Court of Pleas of Bradford County, Towanda School District Business Manager Doreen Secor said.
If the judge approves the sale, the land will be transferred to Williams, she said.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.