July 23, 2014

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Old Columbia elementary building gets $155,000 bid

An April 2010 photo of the former Copopa Elementary School building.  CHRONCILE FILE PHOTO

An April 2010 photo of the former Copopa Elementary School building. CHRONCILE FILE PHOTO

COLUMBIA — A company called 1750 Industries was the high bidder at $155,000 for the old Copopa Elementary School, which closed several years ago and has been vacant ever since.

The more than 90-year-old building went up for auction last week as a means to bring more revenue into the cash-strapped Columbia school district.

Superintendent Graig Bansek said two bidders vied for the building, which sits on roughly 3.5 acres of land.

“We didn’t have an asking price. We just set the opening bid at $3,000 and it ended up going crazy,” Bansek said. “We ended up with a very good bid.”

The school board will hold a special meeting 7:30 p.m. today to vote on whether to accept the bid.

According to the secretary of state’s website, the company agent who filed the registration papers for 1750 Industries is Harold Maddock of Columbia Station. A call to the number listed for the company was not returned.

Bansek said he did not know what the bidder intended to do with the property, which he said would need a lot of work if the hope is to use the existing building.

“There is mold, asbestos and it needs to have everything from electrical to plumbing work done in there,” he said. “We moved out because it was becoming a health and safety concern for our students and staff. We had to get them out of there.”

Copopa closed in 2011. The building was built in three sections in 1921, 1938 and 1953.

The last known appraisal from the Lorain County auditor’s office values the building at $1.6 million.

If the board accepts the bid, the proceeds will go to the general fund.

The district is hoping voters today pass a 5.5-mill operating levy that would raise $1.06 million annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $187 annually.

Bansek said passage is the only thing to keep the district from being taken over by the state because of its budget woes. A levy proposal failed in May. The district has instituted more than $3 million in cuts in the last four years.

Failure would mean more than $617,000 in additional cuts.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Mark B

    Here comes a chareter school to Columbia .. hahahahaha

  • Laura Craig

    Very sad. I went to school there from 1962 to 1968. We were overcrowded even then, and they built the (then) brand-new Columbia Middle School to help relieve the congestion in the classrooms. I remember my teachers, Mrs. Grills, Mrs. Boone, Mrs. Bolen, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Seymore….wonderful educators, all of them. I remember the “Mahon Rolling Door”, a huge fireproof metal door that divided the two older sections of Copopa Elementary, and the vast wooden stage area where all the school plays were performed. Our milk came in glass bottles for two cents each and our playground was covered in gravel, yet we somehow survived into adulthood. So sad to see the building sold so cheaply, when my memories of the place are priceless.