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Offers climb for school properties / February 17, 2009

Halifax County supervisors will host a public hearing at their March 2 meeting on the possible sale of former school properties that now belong to the county. The supervisors are weighing whether to accept a new round of bids for the shuttered school properties following a round of public auctions on Jan. 31, which yielded offers that the supervisors termed “disappointing” before rejecting them.

The new set of bids totals $440,000, compared to $215,000 offered for the tracts at the January auctions.

The public hearing is the latest step in the supervisors’ efforts to dispose of the surplus properties. ED# 5 Supervisor James Edmunds said at the February 2 meeting, “It is my intention to continue to move quickly on the sales.”

{byline}Advertising the new public hearing, the supervisors are seeking comment on the following offers:

n $100,000 by Kevin Puryear Properties, LLC for the former Turbeville Elementary School building and 7.27 acres of land.

n $20,000 by Eddie Austin for the former Volens Elementary School, located on 4.89 acres, and an adjoining lot of 1.465 acres. Austin earlier told board members that he was willing to negotiate a higher price than the $5,000 bid he made at the January auction. He told supervisors at their February meeting that he hopes to use the building as an auction house.

n $100,000 by Jack Dunavant for the former South Boston C. H. Friend school, along with the 6.10 acre tract on which it is located. Dunavant, who attended the high school there during his junior and senior years, said his bid was purely “nostalgic. I just want to see the school maintained and put to good use, which is a daunting task.” Dunavant added that if his bid is accepted, he will promise that the school will never be torn down and that it will be maintained in perpetuity. He said as of now he has no plans for the use of the building, but is open to suggestions from others.

n A bid of $20,000 for the 3.52 acre lot across from C. H. Friend from Harrison Conner will also be considered at the public hearing.

n The supervisors will also weigh a $200,000 bid for the former South of Dan School, located on some 10.38 acres of land. Cynthia Williams, whose family owns nearby property, has made that offer.

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