York Academy Regional Charter School teachers Bomi Kim-Myers, left, and Keri Schmid walk past a Mighty Ant costume Monday at the New Hope Academy Charter
York Academy Regional Charter School teachers Bomi Kim-Myers, left, and Keri Schmid walk past a Mighty Ant costume Monday at the New Hope Academy Charter School auction preview. (Bill Kalina — bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

The Mighty Ant mascot that once marched alongside supporters in the fight to save New Hope Academy Charter School has been reduced to a pile of wrinkled fabric in a cardboard box.

The big-eyed bug is just one of many items available in an online auction designed to liquidate New Hope's remaining assets.

On Monday, potential buyers roamed the rooms and hallways at 459 W. King St., where students attended classes just weeks ago. In their place are rows of Bunsen burners, piles of chemistry textbooks, boxes of keyboards and stacks of stools stained with the colorful evidence of art projects.

Everything is for sale.

"It's disheartening," said Sam Sutton, the chief operating officer for 3Cord Inc., which operated New Hope until the school closed June 10.

Sutton said he was at the school Monday "to make sure the process goes through smoothly."

He said many New Hope families are still struggling to decide where their children will attend school in the fall. Some are looking at cyber and homeschool alternatives, Sutton said.

"A lot of them don't have a lot of options," Sutton said.

Looking for bargains: For administrators at Dayspring Christian Academy, the closing of New Hope could help to infuse their Mountville, Lancaster County, school with new technology and equipment.

Buddy Baker, facilities manager at Dayspring, said he was looking for potential deals. He said the K-12 school has acquired things like laptop carts and choir bleachers from auctions before.


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"I've got a certain budget that I've got to stay within," he said.

Sarah Clodfelter said she was on the hunt for science and literature textbooks — especially those written in Spanish. Clodfelter said she works with a group of homeschooling mothers in southern Maryland.

There's a big demand for Spanish textbooks in and around Washington,D.C., but few places to find them, she said.

Clodfelter said she was impressed with New Hope's supply of books written in both English and Spanish.

"I'm surprised there aren't more people here," she said.

The proceeeds: Though 3Cord is moving forward with plans to open a private school, that hasn't softened the blow of losing New Hope, Sutton said.

It feels like New Hope "never had a chance," he said.

The school was forced to dissolve after Commonwealth Court affirmed a state Charter School Appeal Board decision that upheld the York City School District's 2012 decision not to renew New Hope's charter.

Several dozen New Hope parents and students have filed a federal lawsuit alleging district officials conspired to close the school and violated their constitutional rights in the process.

After the disposition of any liabilities and obligations, state law requires that when a charter school dissolves "any remaining assets of the charter school, both real and personal, shall be distributed on a proportional basis to the school entities with students enrolled in the charter school for the last full or partial school year of the charter school."

Most New Hope students live within the boundaries of the York City School District.

The auction at www.jenningsassetliquidations.com will close Wednesday shortly after 10 a.m.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.