The Columbus (Ohio) district has won an electronic auction for the former headquarters of a defunct online charter school and almost 27 acres of land.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the school district bid $3,155,500 for 27 acres of land in Columbus that includes a 138,000-square-foot building that housed the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). At one point, ECOT was the largest charter school in Ohio.
“This is a solid investment in the future operations of Columbus City Schools," School Board President Gary Baker said in a written statement. "My colleagues recognize that the amount paid for the property is far less than what would be needed to build new administrative space or refurbish existing space to better maximize district resources.”
The building purchase is part of a liquidation of the assets of ECOT, which closed in January. Proceeds will be used to help pay off the school’s remaining creditors.
The ECOT building was formerly a strip shopping mall that included a theater complex and has three movie theaters — two without seats that are used for storage and a third that has been remodeled as a theater. The district could potentially use that space for staff meetings and special events.
The board approved the measure on a 4-3 vote.
Nearly everything inside ECOT headquarters was sold at the auction, including dozens of desks, hundreds of chairs and more than 1,500 calculators.
The auction also included some especially peculiar items for an online school, including professional kitchen equipment, a motocross helmet, about 60 apple-shaped Tiffany crystal paperweights, and a former Gahanna police cruiser — a 2009 Dodge Charger with “ECOT Security” emblazoned on the door.