Local

Marengo School District 165 sells defunct Hawthorn Elementary School for $40,000

School closed in 2004

Marengo Union Community School District 165 has sold defunct Hawthorn Elementary School for $40,000 to a developer.
Marengo Union Community School District 165 has sold defunct Hawthorn Elementary School for $40,000 to a developer.

MARENGO – Marengo School District 165 has sold one of its defunct buildings for $40,000 to a developer.

The district’s board had a special meeting Thursday to authorize the sale of the building and the 5 acres of land it sits on.

The district plans to close on the sale June 2.

The property is adjacent to six lots, which the district is looking to sell for $110,000.

The district closed Hawthorn and Union Elementary schools when the high school built its new building in 2004. District 165 then began renting its current building, District 165 Superintendent Lea Damisch said.

“It saved the district money
transportationwise and just made sense,” she said. “[Hawthorn] was unoccupied for about a year, then Faith Lutheran occupied it for about five years, and it has been used by community groups ever since.”

Damisch said she is unaware of what the future holds for the property.

“I don’t know anything about the gentleman or what he plans to do with the school,” she said. “I do know he plans to use the building in some capacity, but I don’t know who he is.

“He’s not local. It sounds as if he’s just an investor and he thought it was a good deal. And it is a good deal.”

She added that five or six other potential buyers had expressed interest in the property, including one person who had the idea to turn it into an assisted living facility.

The school district has retained ownership of the other elementary school it closed in 2004, which is being leased out, but it was time to sell Hawthorn, Damisch said.

“We are not seeing a rise in the demographics of our enrollment,” she said. “It just seemed like a good time.”

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