The former Laurelton School on Route 88 in Brick will be auctioned off, following two unsuccessful attempts to sell the property through a public bidding process.
The appraised value of the former school building is $620,000, and under state public bidding laws, the district could not legally accept an offer below the appraised value. But after twice soliciting bids, there were no takers. James Edwards, the district’s business administrator, said a few potential buyers conducted walk-throughs of the building, but not offers were submitted. That left officials with three options.
“We could enter into negotiations and sell the building, have another RFP or use an auctioneer,” said Edwards. “The committee feels the auctioneer service is the best way to proceed.”
The Board of Education voted in favor of obtaining auctioneer services at its meeting earlier this week. Edwards said districts similar to Brick, including Toms River and Edison, have used auctions to sell property. To comply with the law, the buyer – not the taxpayers’ – will pay the auctioneer’s fee.
There is no date set for an auction, nor has an auctioneer been hired. The board simply voted this week to solicit bids for auction services. Once those bids are returned, the board will select an auctioneer and a date will be set.
Laurelton has not hosted any students in over 15 years. The school district will retain its central receiving warehouse in the rear of the property and the auction will cover the purchase of the land and building in the front-facing portion of the property along Route 88.