Sale of old Fort Mill High School site falls through

joverman@fortmilltimes.comNovember 11, 2013 

Fort Mill School District Supt. Dr. Chuck Epps (foreground) and lifelong Fort Mill resident and FMHS graduate Chip Heemsoth explore the former FMHS science lab last summer.


— Standard Pacific Homes’ plan to buy and demolish the old Fort Mill High School on Banks Street has fallen through, school district officials said last week.

Superintendent Chuck Epps signed an agreement to sell the property in early October, but the homebuilder never signed off on the deal, school district spokeswoman Kelly McKinney said.

There is no information about why Standard Pacific, which signed a letter of intent to buy the property in September, pulled out of the deal, McKinney said.

“We are very disappointed because not only was the offer from Standard Pacific a great offer for the taxpayers, but it was also marketing to a niche market on a desirable piece of property,” McKinney said.

“We are very disappointed that the agreement couldn’t carry forward.”

Standard Pacific’s letter of intent said the company agreed to pay more than $600,000 for the 6.38-acre property and agreed to pay for the demolition and removal of the building and its contents, including asbestos removal.

The company planned to build garden homes in an “active adult” community.

The Fort Mill School District moved all remaining district programs and services from the building earlier this year, saving an estimated $225,000 a year on utilities and other expenses.

The district now will follow through with its original plan to demolish the former high school and attempt to sell the property, McKinney said. Asbestos abatement began Monday with a projected completion date of February.

Once asbestos abatement is complete, demolition will begin.

Asbestos was a common component of building insulation up until the 1970s and 1980s, when it was shown to have caused cancer in those exposed to its fibers.

Commemorative bricks will be set aside for people who signed up for a “piece of history” during a district-sponsored open house on Oct. 5.

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