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Auction raises $62K for school project

More than $62,000 was raised through last month’s auction of items left behind at Little Hocking and Warren elementary schools.

“We actually net $62,224 after all expenses and everything,” said Melcie Wells, district treasurer. “We’re surprised but pleased.”

She said it seemed like people had fun with the auction, getting a piece of history or something useful for their home or business.

“We were thrilled the community was so involved with the auction,” she said. “I think these elementaries meant a lot to the community.”

The elementary schools closed at the end of the last school year and students were combined into a new Warren Elementary starting in September.

“I was crazy surprised we were able to raise this amount of money,” Superintendent Kyle Newton said. “It was more than double what we thought we’d raise.”

He said some things were purchased for less than $10, but kitchen equipment was the biggest subsection for the auction.

“Kitchen stuff for both buildings like the sinks, cabinetry and stainless steel were the high ticket items,” he explained. “We also had old doors that sold for a couple of hundred dollars. Kitchen stuff went for what I thought would be the total amount.”

Both Wells and Newton said they were pleased with how the auction was set up by Kaufman Auctions. User names for each bidder were visible for people logged in.

“When I looked through at the end, I recognized people within the community and outside the community,” Wells said. “Outside entities from around the area were able to get things at a great price for their community. I’m glad things we had that were no longer in use can be used by another. That’s a great thing.”

Newton said the auction was done in a professional, top-notch manner and it was interesting to see who was bidding on what items.

“It was amazing to see the variety of individuals,” he said, noting some people had three or four U-Hauls to cart away their goods.

“It was cool to see the user names. So many of the names were local names,” Newton said.

He said the items that were not purchased will be offered to individual bidders or buyers who will resell the items, including pieces of equipment within the structures, such as boilers

The money will be put back into the building project fund for capital improvements. Newton and Wells discussed the proceeds and didn’t want to use it for an ongoing project.

“We think of one-time money as a one-time purchase,” he explained.

Another auction will be held once the new high school is built and furnished.

“We are just moving across the property,” Newton said. “We’re keeping buildings 6 and 2 and their contents. There’s not much we are keeping from the high school. Personally, I don’t think we’re going to make as much with this auction.”

He noted bids are coming in next week for demolition of the former elementary school buildings. A bid package for the middle school is also coming down next week.

“There’s a lot of fast moving things for the district,” he added.

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