The purchase of the old school is almost complete | News, Sports, Jobs
CADIZ — Harrison County will soon own the former Westgate Elementary School property after signing a property purchase agreement Wednesday morning.
Commissioners reached the agreement with the Harrison Hills City School District School Board to purchase the former school site, which consists of 7.86 acres, for $200,000. Commissioners Dale Norris, Don Bethel and Paul Coffland unanimously approved and signed the contract at the meeting. Norris, who originally expressed an interest in the property, declined to comment on the signing of the contract when asked if he had anything to add during the talk party following the contract approval. He jokingly added that he will discuss it after he understands what will happen in the building.
After the meeting, Coffland said they chose to buy the property because it would be the best and cheapest option in the county if the Board of Commissioners wanted to expand its offices or other county offices.
“We decided it was a good idea to buy the site, especially given the offers and building materials at the moment. You couldn’t build anything for $200,000 right now if we wanted to,” he said.
Coffland said they continue to explore options for what the building could be used for in the future.
“We’re going to have to talk a bit to determine the best public use and office services that could use this space,” he said. “We have too many options right now, and we’re going to have to decide what’s best for the public to access the facility.”
Norris said some of the offices may be used for county departments or other entities, but he did not go into specifics.
Renovations to the building will depend on which departments will use the building, Coffland said.
In the meantime, Bethel said the most difficult aspect would be maintaining the more than 7 acres of land.
The school district is currently responsible for mowing and maintaining the grounds. This responsibility will fall to the county once the sale is finalized.
After the school closed, the school district’s administrative offices were housed in the building for a time until the new school complex was completed in 2019.
Once administration was moved to the new campus, the facility, located at 730 Peppard Avenue in Cádiz, was used for storage until an auction of the items was held on last year. Since then, the building has remained largely vacant except for a dance studio located at the rear of the building. Commissioners said the dance studio is paying school board rent to use space in the building, which they need to consider moving forward.
The school board approved the sale of the former school property to the county at a recent meeting.
The sale should be finalized in 60 days