AP NEWS

Building still owned by EACS after offer

March 16, 2019

A former elementary building remains East Allen County Schools’ property despite leaders approving a $175,000 offer last fall, officials confirmed this week.

H1 Elite Investment Group sought to make Hoagland Elementary School, 12009 Hoagland Road, a one-stop hub for training with a focus on residential and commercial construction.

The sale, however, fell through because the group lost commitment by people who planned to be involved, representative Kareem Hunter said Thursday.

“It was very disappointing,” he said.

The school, which was also known as Heritage Elementary, closed to students in 2014.

The more than 61,000-square-foot building has about 20 classrooms, multiple offices, a cafeteria and kitchen, a media center and a gymnasium with wood floors, fixed wood bleachers and fixed goals. Original construction dates back to 1927.

East Allen pays utility bills for the school, but they are substantially less than when the building was occupied, said Kirby Stahly, the district’s chief financial officer.

The building needs improvements, he said, but the district isn’t going to invest money in a structure it has no need for.

If a buyer doesn’t come forward, the district will likely demolish the school, Stahly said.

“I don’t know how long we’ll wait,” he said.

The investment group’s plans for Hoagland excited district leaders. After the school board approved its offer at an August meeting, members said they looked forward to a potential partnership benefiting East Allen students.

There is a need for what the investment group hoped to offer, Hunter said, adding he would like to pursue the idea again.

“Hopefully the building is there, still,” he said.

asloboda@jg.net