The former Laurelton Elementary School building on Route 88 in Brick will remain under district ownership for the time being after it failed to produce a high enough offer in an auction.
The historic building, which hasn’t been used as a school since 2003, dates back to 1934. Last year, to make the property more attractive for buyers, the district successfully convinced the township’s planning board to subdivide its location from a separate portion of the property where a district warehouse is located. The district intends to keep the warehouse property.
After a traditional sales process failed to find a suitable buyer, the property was put up for auction by the Board of Education. Last week, Business Administrator James Edwards said the high bid for the for school would have netted the district $450,000 after commission. The property, however, is appraised at $640,000, leading the board to reject the bid. The district will now hold off on re-advertising the building for sale.
“Most likely, we will wait until some point in the future to sell the building in order to obtain a higher value,” said Edwards. “Maybe because of the pandemic it’s not a good time to sell the property. I think it’s something we feel that, at this point, the pandemic really affected the value of the auction.”
The building was last appraised in May, Edwards said.
The school building measures about 8,500 square feet. Despite its historic nature, the building has been modified to the point where it cannot formally be declared a historic structure, and will most likely be demolished following a future sale. Previously, officials have said Wawa, Hackensack-Meridian Health and a brewery had discussed purchasing the property.