A Kentucky school district has sold three buildings for a little more than $60,000 even though they were appraised at more than $1 million.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Floyd County school district approved the sales despite receiving bids previously that totaled more than $113,000.
District officials say the low bids are the result of a poor economy in Floyd County and Eastern Kentucky, and that the district was better off selling the buildings below the appraised values because of liability concerns and the cost of insurance.
The Floyd County district had declared the three buildings — an old maintenance building and two closed elementary schools — surplus properties.
The Kentucky Department of Education, which evaluates the sales of surplus properties for school districts, approved the sales last week.
“Unfortunately in Eastern Kentucky, surplus school buildings don’t have a lot of value,” says Donna Duncan, director of the education department’s Division of District Support. “I’m sure they wanted to get the top dollar they could.”
Sherry Robinson, chair of the Floyd County school board, says the district had problems with people looting the buildings, and officials were concerned about liability issues if someone were to be hurt on the property.
Floyd County Schools Superintendent Danny Adkins says the district also was paying insurance premiums totaling more than $150,000 for the buildings.
The sale price for the old Osborne Elementary, dropped from $100,000 to $50,000. It has been vacant since last year. The price of the old Allen Elementary dropped from $8,100 to $6,200. It has been vacant since 2010. The bid on the old maintenance building, which has been vacant since last year, was $5,100.