Former school building sold


A McElhattan developer, who has a tradition of buying older buildings and transforming them into nice commercial properties, bought the former Woodward Township Elementary School Sunday at an auction by Roan Inc., of Cogan Station, that started at precisely 2 p.m. and ended just a few minutes later.

Developer Robert Maguire was the highest bidder at $175,000.

Choosing not to speak to the Sun-Gazette about his plans, Maguire instead deferred to attorney, Marc Drier, who said he was not told of any immediate plans the developer had for the building, just that he seemed to believe it was a good investment.

“He takes buildings that are broken down and makes something nice,” Drier said.

Maguire bought and transformed a derelict gas station down the road on Route 220 and made it into a Red Wing Shoe store, Drier said.

Numerous onlookers walked the chilly hallways and examined the rooms prior to the bidding.

The single-story building has an east and west wing, basement and public sewer.

The former school building, which originally was sold at auction in October, was available to the highest bidder after what the Williamsport Area School District called a “technicality” held up the sale and saw the buyer walk away from, according to Jeffrey Richards, district business manager.

Former buyer, David Matschke, a Woodward Township resident, chose to not go through with the sale and the district put the building back on the auction block.

The Woodward building, which is nearly 21,000 square feet in size and sits on 13 acres of land, was auctioned off for $220,000 on Oct. 24 but the withdraw led to another auction.

The building, which is nearly 21,000 square feet in size and sits on 13 acres of land overlooks the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

After the auction, Richards commented on behalf of the school district. “We’re a little disappointed,” Richards said. The original auction had a reserve price of $173,000. The building was appraised at $193,000.

A stipulation of sale is Maguire agrees to enter into a two-year lease with the district, which will pay him $1,000 a month during the lease term. The settlement may take a few more weeks, Richards said.

The Woodward building last was used as an elementary school in 2001 and then was used as an alternative education school until 2007. It was built prior to 1978.

The district uses the building for storage, Richards said.

The district also sold Sheridan Elementary School for $435,000 and Round Hills school was auctioned off for $520,000.