BEDFORD – During Thursday’s meeting of the North Lawrence Community Schools board members voted unanimously to approve the sale of remaining land surrounding the former Springville Elementary School property to the Springville Community and Rural Foundation, who control the property currently operating as Springville Community Academy.
The land had been a sticking point between NLCS and the eventual charter school since the property was signed over to Perry Township following the district’s consolidation plan in 2020, which closed Springville Elementary. Sections of the land still owned by NLCS after the property transfer included a septic tank, an exit gate and a section of land where around seven feet of the Springville school encroached.
The school corporation was not legally required to offer the land to the township following consolidation, as it was purchased separately and not given to them by the township for the purposes of building the school building, as the other section had been.
SCARF will be purchasing the remaining property, which is divided into two parcels of land, for $20,500. That price was determined following a professional appraisal contracted by the foundation.
Additionally, because SCARF is a non-profit organization that exists for the purpose of recreation or education , state statute allows NLCS to sell the land directly to them without having to open to public bids, according to NLCS attorney Greg Pittman.
Board member Scott King spoke prior to casting his vote to discuss why he supported the sale, explaining that they had limited options if they wanted to sell the land, given its relationship to the school.
“The land is landlocked in terms of how we could use it. There are multiple septic tanks on it. We discussed it and decided it would be difficult to sell it to anyone else for any other purpose. They had a fair certified appraisal, I think that was a good offer. So all those things considered, we think it’s the best thing we could do. I feel like it’s a step in the right direction for us,” King said.
Board member Barbara Miller expressed a similar sentiment, also saying the sale was a gesture of goodwill towards the charter.
“The actual Springville school is built about seven, eight feet on that property. So, when we owned it they built over the line so if we sold it we couldn’t sell all of the property,” Miller said. “And it is a goodwill measure, in part, because we do want their children for high school.”