Grant Elementary

Parents wait to pick up their children after school on Nov. 17 at Grant Elementary School. The school will close next year.

Dan Cepeda, Star-Tribune

The buildings that the Natrona County School District has put up for sale have received no bids, officials said Thursday.

Earlier this month, the district’s school board approved a plan to remove from inventory North Casper Elementary, the old Roosevelt High School and the Fairgrounds Center, all of which are vacant.

Grant Elementary and Mills Elementary will be vacant after this year and will be sold as soon as possible, officials said. Star Lane Center, which is also occupied, is also slated to be closed no later than next school year.

Though the plan called to have the vacant buildings removed from inventory by July 1 and have at least Mills removed by Sept. 1, district spokesman Kelly Eastes said the timeline is fluid.

Ideally, the district will sell the properties, though officials have said the buildings may be demolished as a last resort. But Eastes said Thursday that the district likely doesn’t have the money to demolish the buildings.

“That’s probably not in the cards right now,” Eastes said.

Eastes said no bids had been submitted for any of the properties. In November, Dennis Bay, the district’s executive director of business services, said the district had been approached by a church group to use one of the buildings for a church. Additionally, the Salvation Army has expressed some interest; it is looking for a new facility because it’s outgrown its old one, Bay said.

“There’s another (interested group) that wants to use them for apartments,” he said, though he didn’t specify which buildings these groups were interested in. He said he could not name the church group.

Bay added that the district will advertise to sell the buildings, and the authority to approve bids rests with the school board.

Though the district apparently has no plans to demolish the buildings, Bay acknowledged last month that any buyer could tear them down should the facilities not meet the purchaser’s needs. The old Roosevelt building is on the National Register of Historic Places, but that won’t protect it should a buyer decide to tear it down, Bay and Eastes have said.

“A lot of people think that because it’s on the register, it can’t be demolished,” Bay said. “That is not the case.”

There’s been more concrete interest in Mills, officials have said. Rick Skatula, the executive director for school improvement, said in November that the district asked Mills officials if the town could make use of the building and to send the district a written proposal about what groups would use the vacant school.

“Right now, we’re just about to embark on more discussions with the town of Mills as far as purchasing the school,” Skatula said last month. The town may use it for a Boys and Girls Club or other entities that serve the town, like a day care.

Through Eastes, superintendent Steve Hopkins said this week that there has been some interest in the buildings but nothing has been finalized yet.

Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann


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