Photo courtesy Lee Paxton
The former Ingram Elementary School has recently attracted two interested buyers. The building was last used by the Montour School District as a community resource center in 2016.
By Jamie Wiggan
The Montour School District has received two offers on the former Ingram Elementary School.
Listed by the district in January 2020 at an asking price of $750,000, the school property received two bids early April after a long lull in interest.
One bidder, non-profit Wellness for Veterans, bid $10,000 above the asking price but proffered slow-moving closing terms that would also give them an easy exit from the contract.
A second bid from AG Real Estate came in as a $500,000 cash-buy offer with terms for a speedy and streamlined closing period.
Pat Morosetti, an agent representing the district, told directors during an April 15 business meeting both offers have merit, but he emphasized the precariousness of the non-profit’s bid.
“The intent behind this offer is a bit out of the box,” Morosetti said. … they’re hoping to “utilize contractual leverage” to try to get a grant.
Morosetti described AG Real Estate as a local investor with a track record converting commercial property into market rate apartments.
The board discussed the merits of the two bids without taking action to accept either during the meeting.
Director George Dudash pointed out the building has several faults and costs the district monthly upkeep while it remains in their custody.
“I say we take the money and run,” he said.
Built in 1914, the Ingram Elementary School shuttered in 2012 but remained open as a library and community center until closing in 2016 because of low community participation.
Also during the meeting, the board finalized a recent spate of administrative changes placing Eric Sparkenbaugh and Dominic Salpeck in two newly-created senior positions.
Sparkenbaugh, previously director of academic achievement and K-12 support services, is now assistant superintendent, while Salpeck has moved up from middle school principal to director of instruction and academic achievement.
Annual salaries for the new roles are $148,320 for Sparkenbaugh and $126,321 for Salpeck
The board opened the positions during its March meeting, where it also closed the director of K-4 academic achievement and innovation role formerly held by Justin Aglio, who left the district in December 2020.
Superintendent Christopher Stone said the new positions reflect broad changes to the education world following the coronavirus pandemic. In other administrative changes, Kylee Crawshaw was hired by the district in March as associate high school principal. She comes to the district from Hopewell Area School District where she was an administrator at the junior high school.
The board also approved a service contract for a transition coordinator to serve the district’s special education students.
Robert Isherwood, director of pupil services, said the contract will supply “the icing on the cake” for graduating special education students by helping them find employment beyond high school.
“I honestly feel like this will complete our special education program,” Isherwood said. “[it will] make it one of the best in Allegheny County, maybe even the state.”