Officials with Loogootee Community Schools are currently working to settle the fate of a former elementary school.
Loogootee Elementary East, which was originally closed by the school district in 2010, is currently sitting vacant and superintendent Laura Mattingly says there is nobody that is interested in renting the building. Thus, she says the district has started the process which might lead to the building being sold.
Mattingly says the district is working on getting appraisals for the property before accepting bids for its purchase. She says Indiana law has very specific procedures for this process and the district is working to follow those through this process.
Now Loogootee Elementary East’s closing was originally announced back in April of 2010. The final day of classes in the building was June 1st of that year. The district cited cuts in state funding and decreasing enrollment as its reasons for closing the building.
Stimulus Engineering signed a 2 year lease to use the building as a training center back in April 2011. The playground at the school was then turned into a parking lot. The project received 5 thousand dollar contributions from the Martin County Redevelopment Commissioner, the Martin County Alliance, and the City of Loogootee.
During its lease, Stimulus paid 13 thousand dollars per month. That money with utilities added up to 325 thousand dollars of unexpected revenue for the district. However, Stimulus decided not to renew the lease when it ended this past April and the building has been empty since that time.
Mattingly says the district is currently paying an average of about 700 dollars per month on utilities for the building. She says the district is currently paying about 15 thousand 400 dollars per year to maintain the building. That figure includes 7 thousand dollars in insurance and security equipment costs.