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School Board Plans Sale of Lemont Elementary; Sponsorship Approved for North Field Scoreboard

by on July 02, 2019 5:43 PM

The final bell rang at Lemont Elementary School on June 13, and now State College Area School District is poised to sell the 81-year-old building on Elmwood Street.

School Board President Amber Concepcion said at Monday night's meeting that "the board plans to vote on the disposition of the Lemont building through a negotiated sale," at the board's July 15 meeting.

SCASD spokesman Chris Rosenblum said he could not comment on who the prospective buyer is or whether it is a commercial or nonprofit entity.

"All I can say at this point is the district is working with a potential buyer on an agreement of sale, but the transaction details will remain confidential until the board of directors' approval, which could be on July 15," Rosenblum said.

Lemont Elementary, which included kindergarten through second grade, is combining with Houserville Elementary in the new K-5 Spring Creek Elementary, which is being constructed on the Houserville property and will open in August. The board decided in 2016 that Lemont Elementary would close as part of several elementary school construction projects.

College Township Manager Adam Brumbaugh said the township is not the buyer. Over the past two years, township staff and council have discussed a few possible options aimed at ensuring preservation of the building as well as the possibility of buying it. Ultimately, no formal action was taken, but the council's greatest concern was that the historic portions of the building, including the façade, be preserved.

Brumbaugh said that after discussions with the district his understanding is that preservation of the historic portion of the building would be a part of the sales agreement.

As mandated under the Pennsylvania Public School Code, the board held a public hearing on closing Lemont Elementary in 2017. Formal action to close the school was taken at the board's June 17 meeting.

To dispose of the school, the district had three options: auction, sealed bids or private sale. In 2005 the district used sealed bids for the sale of the former Matternville Elementary School, which was acquired by CenClear for a preschool center. In 2011, the former Boalsburg Elementary School, which closed with the opening of Mount Nittany Middle School, was sold to Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy in a private sale. The former College Heights Elementary School was sold to Penn State in 2015 in a private sale.

Lemont Elementary was built in 1938. The front of the 28,000-square-foot building is the original portion and a two-story addition was constructed in 1966. The school has long been the sister school of Houserville Elementary, built in 1959. Their combined new Spring Creek Elementary will be about 71,000 square feet.

North Field Sponsorship

For the first time under a new policy, the board approved a sponsorship at a State High athletic field.

State College Federal Credit Union will display its name and logo on the scoreboard at the new North Field in exchange for annual payments of $7,500 per year for 10 years.

The new policy adopted in March allows for sponsor and partner advertising at event venues including Memorial Field, Community Field, South Track, North Turf Field, the Natatorium, high school gymnasiums and school auditoriums. The measure is intended to provide non-traditional funding sources for student extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities.

The district has had a practice of securing sponsorships through a third-party at limited venues, including Memorial Field and the high school North Gym. The use of a third-party provider is being phased out and the SCFCU sponsorship agreement is the first to be created and managed by district staff.

The North Field, which will have lights and an artificial surface, will be used for multiple sports teams' competitions and practices.



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