District has buyer for old Fort Mill High School site

joverman@fortmilltimes.comSeptember 12, 2013 

— Standard Pacific Homes has signed a letter of intent with the Fort Mill School District solidifying plans to purchase the Banks Street property from the and take over responsibility for the demolition of the former Fort Mill High School.

Standard Pacific plans to develop the property with garden homes for an active adult community.

“We feel good about the use of the property, that it won’t be a big burden on the school rolls as far as the number of children,” Superintendent Chuck Epps said.

“It was critical to the board that we didn’t add to our own overcrowding problem based on who we sold it to,” said school board Chairman Patrick White.

According to the Letter of Intent the selling price for the school district property is $95,000 per gross acre and Standard Pacific will be responsible for demolition and removal of the building, fixtures, personal property and asbestos removal. The property is 6.38 acres.

The district had previously planned to pay for demolition at an estimated cost of between $200,000 and $400,000.

The Fort Mill School District moved all remaining district programs and services out of the building earlier this year to save on utilities. The cost savings to the district by not using the building and paying its utility costs was an estimated $225,000 annually.

“The board is pleased that we were able to take a piece of property that was costing us a quarter million dollars a year and obtain a good value from a developer that is going to turn around and use that property to enhance Fort Mill and that neighborhood,” White said.

Original plans were to sell the property with the building, but the school board later voted to demolish the building in the hopes that it would make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

Bids were accepted for demolition but none was awarded while the board was negotiating with several potential buyers that came forward in the last few months.

Proceeds from the sale of the Banks Street property will be distributed at the discretion of the school board, Epps said.

“I can’t speak for the board, but there is a good chance we’ll use the proceeds to help with deferred maintenance or with the purchase of other properties,” said Epps.

The property sold includes the land where the former high school and cafeteria sit but does not include the gymnasium or mobile units that house the Fort Mill Playhouse. The Banks Street Gym and Fort Mill Playhouse are on property owned by Leroy Springs & Co.

An open house will be held at the former Fort Mill High School on Banks Street on Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon for people interested in touring the building before it’s demolished.

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