Willis Hare property sold

Published 4:59 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

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JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Education has accepted an offer to sell the Willis Hare Elementary School property.

They discussed and voted on the proposed bid during their regular meeting on Oct. 9.

As previously reported by the News Herald, the board voted to permanently close the school in June 2022. The age of the facility, health and safety issues, and declining student enrollment were cited as the main factors for the closure. Students were reassigned to either Central Elementary or Conway Middle, depending on what grade they were in.

Since the closure of the school, located in Pendleton, the board has taken steps to sell the property. Earlier this year, they declared the property as surplus, offered it to the county commissioners (who declined), and then advertised it for sale.

The upset bid process – the standard procedure for selling school board property – concluded on Sept. 27 with the highest bid of $194,696.51 from Cassandra Person of Pendleton.

Phil Matthews, who serves as Special Assistant to the Superintendent, stated that the property is being sold “as is.”

Board member Dr. Marjorie Edwards thanked Matthews and the board’s Facilities and Finance Committee for all their work during the sale process, noting that they did their due diligence to ensure the district received a fair price for the property.

“We are just grateful that we could get together and get these things done,” she said.

Board member Tony Burnette echoed similar sentiments.

Board attorney Rod Malone said he would get a standard contract drawn up along with a resolution for the board to approve at their next meeting. He noted that it would be the same as when the board approved the sale of the Seaboard Coates property last year.

Board member Clinton Williams motioned to accept the bid, and Burnette seconded. The vote passed unanimously in favor.