Huntington Realty buys former Park Hills school at auction for $140,000

December 7, 2018

HUNTINGTON — The former Park Hills Elementary School at 2001 McCoy Road in Huntington was sold for $140,000 to the Huntington Realty Corp. on Thursday during a public auction hosted by Cabell County Schools.

The roughly 13,000-square-foot former school, which operated from 1964-89, most recently housed the state’s Regional Education Service Agencies (RESA) II branch for more than 25 years until the statewide RESA system was dissolved by the West Virginia Legislature in 2017.

Cabell County Schools has owned the property since the building’s construction. The property has been unoccupied since June, but was maintained in good condition by the district.

No plans for the property’s next use were announced. Huntington Realty owns property across McCoy Road from the former school.

The property is zoned residential, but could be grandfathered in as office space if maintained as that within the next seven months, after which it would return to residential only.

The school sits on roughly four acres of land and has parking for more than 30 cars. The building features seven former classrooms, five offices, nine bathrooms, an auditorium and a cafeteria.

While that $140,000 does make for a nice source of additional income for the Cabell County Board of Education, which can earmark the payment for other building projects, it was just as good to drop the responsibility of maintaining the building, said Ryan Saxe, superintendent of schools.

“We take a great sense of responsibility in being responsible with taxpayer dollars,” Saxe said. “If we would have maintained the building, we would have not gotten a good return on that investment.

“So this allows us to have an additional source of revenue this year and allows us to not have additional liability and overhead expenditures that would really be, in my opinion, not responsible use of funds.”

The Board of Education declined to maintain the building for education or storage for its own use earlier this year.

Park Hills is the third former elementary school Cabell County Schools has auctioned as surplus property this year. In February, the district sold the former Geneva Kent Elementary for $130,000 and the former Peyton Elementary for $42,000.

The auction was conducted by Joe R. Pyle Auction & Realty Service, of Shinnston — the same firm that auctioned the former Peyton and Geneva Kent elementary schools on the board’s behalf in February.

The sale will still need to be finalized through a vote at the Board of Education’s Dec. 18 meeting.

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