Former elementary site sells for $220,000

More than 10 years after the Williamsport Area School District closed Woodward Township Elementary School, it has a new owner, as it was auctioned off by Roan Inc. Thursday night for $220,000.

David Matschke, a township resident, was the winning bidder of the 20,900 square-foot building. The final bid price was more than $30,000 above the reserve price of $173,000, for which the district initially was asking.

There were six individuals bidding on the property at 5933 N. Route 220, Linden.

The building was last used as an elementary school in 2001. It then was used as an alternative education school until 2007. It sits on more than 13 acres of land.

Matschke said he plans to work with the township to develop a plan for the property.

He added that he will have time to do so as the buyer immediately entered into a lease agreement with the district for a maximum of two years, per terms of the sale.

Jeffrey Richards, district business manager, said the district will pay a monthly lease payment of $1,000 for use of the building. The district is using the building for storage, which its done since 2007.

Richards said the district can leave the lease agreement prior to two years and will do so if it finds a new storage area.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff stored in here still,” Richards said.

Dr. Don Adams, district superintendent, said after the auction that the building sold for around the price that they had expected.

Lori Baer, school board president, said she was happy with the result of the sale.

“Overall, we’re pleased with the sale and how it went,” she said. “It’s just time for us as a district to move on and move forward.”

Although some came to bid, others came the hour before the 6 p.m. auction to check things out and tour the building.

“We’re just kind of being nosy,” said Lee Michaels, who owns a store across the highway from the school.

Michaels said she was curious to see who purchased the building and what they planned on doing with it.

But while Michaels came to be curious, Todd Schuman came to relive memories.

Schuman attended Woodward Elementary and wanted one last look at his former school before it was sold.

“It was definitely a lot of great memories,” he said of his time attending the school.

Schuman added that being back in the school was a different kind of experience.

“It was kind of very surreal – a lot of flashbacks,” he said.

And now that it’s sold, he’s sad to see it go.

“But I guess everything has it’s day and then it moves on to something else,” Schuman said as he left the building for the last time.

Roan will auction off two more of the district’s former elementary schools in the coming weeks. Sheridan Elementary, 915 Sheridan St., will be auctioned off at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Round Hills Elementary, 136 Grimesville Road, will be sold at 6 p.m. Nov. 7.