A point of controversy, Dover Area elementary might have a buyer

Dover Area School District is looking to sell the former Kralltown Elementary School.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

A Dover Area elementary school, the closure of which eight years ago sparked a petition from some Washington Township residents to switch school districts, might finally see a sale years after it went on the market.

The Kralltown Elementary School property is listed by Bennett Williams Commercial for $250,000, and district Business Manager Jennifer Benko said the district has received an offer but declined to reveal the buyer since the deal is still under consideration.

If the bid is accepted, the building will hopefully be sold by the middle of next year, Benko said, but as a public property it has to go through the courts first.

"It's going to be a long road," she said.

More:'Bobcat flip' a Northeastern fundraiser years in the making

The approximately 9-acre property, at 122 Creek Road, Washington Township, first went on the market in 2015, but after renewed interest from a number of buyers recently, the district authorized its sale at a board meeting Nov. 21.

"We've had a variety of different entities look at the building," Benko said, adding that there's been interest from the public and private sectors.

The school's closure in 2011 drove a group of Washington Township residents to petition to leave the district after the the board voted to close the only school within township borders.

The Washington Township Education Coalition for years has fought for Washington Township students to transfer to Northern York County School District for its proximity, lower taxes and better performance.

Its most recent denial from the state Board of Education came in January.

Benko said administrators at the time chose to close the school so the district would be in a better position to provide resources throughout the district.

Dover Area School District is looking to sell the former Kralltown Elementary School.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

But township residents had only agreed to be a part of the district in the first place on the condition that Kralltown was built, said Ralph McGregor, the coalition's spokesman, in 2012.

More:State board again says Washington Twp. must stay in Dover schools

Coalition members in recent years have criticized the district for leaving the school vacant for years after the promise of a sale, according to a Facebook post.

The property will be sold privately, and the superintendent is authorized to obtain two independent appraisals, according to the November resolution. Benko said the district is in the process of appraisal now.

If sold, revenue from that sale would under law have to be used for capital projects, but when that will come back to the board is unknown, as it depends on the sale, Benko said.