Greencastle-Antrim officials again looking for school administration space

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

School officials are continuing to look for new administrative office space. The Greencastle-Antrim School District executive office wing in the elementary building will be converted into three classrooms this summer, as planned, even though a real estate deal fell through to house the administration.

G-ASD had offered $570,000 to Foremost Industries LLC in March. The professional building at 2375 Buchanan Trail W. was move-in ready.

Unbeknowst to school personnel, on Nov. 20, 2015, former Foremost owner Ralph Michael filed suit against new owner GLD Foremost Holdings LLC and Daniel Gordon in the Pennsylvania Middle District Court. GLD and Gordon sued Michael, Don Myers and Laurie Myers the same day in the federal court. The issue for both sides was breach of contract.

Michael had filed a lien on the property, and on April 1 Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Shawn Meyers upheld the negative mark on the real estate. By April 12 G-ASD was notified of the unclear title.

G-ASD superintendent Greg Hoover said business manager Jolinda Wilson had checked on the deed when rumors surfaced that a lien existed. It was fine at that point so the district kept moving forward on the purchase. The timing of the judge’s opinion was pivotal. The district immediately withdrew its offer.

“I’m glad we’re out of it,” Hoover said.

Now what?

Overcrowding in the schools is still a pressing issue, so renovations will get underway once students are dismissed for the summer.

Three classrooms will also be created in the middle school library, with some room left intact for library activities. Administrative personnel will be shifted around on a temporary basis until a permanent setting is found for them, said Hoover.

Wilson reported to the school board on April 21 that architects Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates had given her drawings for the middle school and elementary wing.

“At some point we will need to enter into an agreement,” she said.

She called for a Facilities Committee meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 3. She also wanted a Finance Committee meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26. Both will be open to the public at the middle school library.

Officials have an idea where they would like to put the executive offices, but are looking at all options.

Hoover said, “We need a conclusion soon.”