By Robert Wheary, Staff Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
LOYALTON – A home built by students is not moving quick enough for the Upper Dauphin School District, so school board members voted to drop the price of the home to see if it will go quicker.
The 1,536-square foot, three-bedroom, 2.5 baths home, located at 505 N. Church Street and built by the school’s building trade classes, has been on the market for the past few months and listed for $235,000.
At the Feb. 14 meeting of the Upper Dauphin School Board, the home’s realtor, Mandy Carl, of Magnolia Realty Services, asked the district to consider dropping the price to make the home more attractive to buyers.
The description as listed on the realtor’s website, “LOCATION LOCATION. This NEW home is ready to move right in with energy efficient Geothermal heat, C/A, wood flooring. (dining room) leads to nick composite deck out back for entertaining in a big back, flat yard. and a basement ready to be finished with high ceilings and precast walls. Conveniently located to town — with best of all — across the street from the local YMCA. Walk to the gym and all the activities that this home location has to offer. All brand new kitchen appliances plus home warranty with acceptable offer.”
Earlier in the design, the board argued about spending the money for appliances for the home, and director Mills Eure asked if that was one reason that the home was not moving.
Business manager Mary Bateman answered, “There was one buyer that gave a list of concerns to the realtor and Mandy will be sharing that with me.”
“It’s a home built by students, Mills,” superintendent Evan Williams said. “Many people want the home, but they want it on the cheap.”
Williams then relayed a story about buying one of the Building Trades homes in the past, when it was sold at auction.
“There were about 10 of us there, and the bidding started at $100,000 and declining when there were no bids,” the superintendent said. “When it got to about $65,000, I made a bid, and one lady stared daggers at me and half the crowd left.”
The cost to build the home came in at about $180,000 so even with a price drop of $15,000 recommended by the realtor, there is still a profit to be made. Mills Eure made the motion to drop the price to $220,000, seconded by Roni Mace. The motion passed by a 5-1 vote with board members Eure, Mace, Kathryn Talheim, Steven Welker and David Barder voting yes, and Jack Laudenslager casting the lone dissenting vote. Board members the Rev. Nathan Minnich, Kirk Wenrich and Angela Mattern were absent.
In other business:
— The board approved a contract with Specialized Education Services of PA Inc. for special education services for three students at a cost of $150 per student per day.
— On a 5-1 vote with Laudenslager voting no, a strength and conditioning course was added to the high school program of studies, while Algebra II Keystone classes were made available for those in Grade 11 and Advanced Chemistry remained a honors course.
— The board unanimously approved a four-year contract with K12 Systems Inc. for the district’s student information system which handles enrollment and scheduling at a cost of $22,698, no change from the current year’s fee.
— The list of spring coaches was unanimously approved, and it was reported under the building and grounds portion of the meeting that district officials are working with Elizabethville Borough for a 10-year-lease on the recreational baseball field, that will be subleased to the Legion ball players.
— A memorandum of understanding was also approved between Upper Dauphin and the Joint School Safety Task Force on a unanimous vote. No details were given at the meeting, since it deals with school safety.