State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Potential Buyer Plans to Open Private School at Lemont Elementary Building

by on July 18, 2019 5:00 PM

State College Area School Board will hold a special meeting on Friday to vote on moving forward with the sale of the Lemont Elementary School building to Volos Properties IV LLC, which intends to open a private school at the location.

Volos Properties is the real estate arm of New Story schools, which provide licensed academic schools with "special education and behavioral health services to children up to age 21 who have been diagnosed with autism or emotional/behavioral disorders," according to the school's website. It has locations in Clearfield, DuBois, Berwick, Harrisburg, Indiana, Lancaster, Monroeville, New Cumberland, Reading, Selinsgrove, Throop and Wyoming.

The 81-year-old Lemont Elementary closed in June as the school will combine with Houserville Elementary to form a single K-5 school, Spring Creek Elementary, at the Houserville site this coming school year. The district revealed earlier this month that it had a buyer lined up for the property.

According to the sales agreement, SCASD will sell the Elmwood Street property to Volos for $1.3 million, with closing to occur on or before Sept. 19. A provision of the agreement requires the limestone exterior of the historic front portion of the building, constructed in 1938, to be maintained, something for which College Township officials had advocated.

The sales agreement also prohibits the property from being used as a charter school and gives SCASD right of first refusal if Volos decides to sell it in the future. According to a memo from Randy Brown, SCASD finance and operations officer, the district received several offers for the Lemont property and Volos Properties' was determined to be the best. 

Pennsylvania school code requires that the sale of the building be approved by a Court of Common Pleas judge. At Friday's meeting, the school board will vote on whether to authorize district officials to file a petition in Centre County Court to approve the sale of the building and grounds.

New Story was founded in 1997 by Paul Volosov, who serves as chairman of its parent organization, Salisbury House Inc.

"Our multidisciplinary teams collaborate with families, school districts and community partners to empower children in overcoming challenges and creating new stories for their lives," New Story's website says.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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