Armstrong School Board sells Kittanning Township Elementary for $88K
The Armstrong School Board sold the former Kittanning Township Elementary on Monday, despite a request from another bidder to delay the sale.
North Buffalo resident Shawn Toy asked the board to delay finalizing a sales agreement with Tim Fouse Excavating to buy the 80,000-square-foot building and its 15.7-acre lot. Fouse paid $88,000.
Before reaching an agreement with Fouse, Toy had an agreement with the district to buy the property for $91,500. Toy stalled the sale when he said the annual taxes would have been too high.
Toy said he was not aware the property was turned into a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) in 2013, meaning Fouse will receive a tax break until 2023. Toy wanted to meet with an attorney and finalize a sale, since his bid was higher than what Fouse offered.
“Nobody told me that this was a KOZ property, and I don’t know why,” Toy said. “This would have changed my ability to buy this school, and I need more time to look into this.”
Toy said he planned to use a portion of the building for a second-hand shop and rent out portions of the building to other businesses.
The board did not delay the decision, however, and finalized the deal with Fouse after an 8-0 vote. Board member Larry Robb was absent.
Superintendent Stan Chapp said Toy first viewed the building in June, which should have given him enough time to research the property.
“That’s a substantial amount of time to do the due diligence for any buyer,” Chapp said. “A sales agreement from Mr. Toy was returned to the district, unsigned, so we moved on to the next person who expressed interest.”
The district moved into an agreement with Fouse in late October.
The district has three other properties on the market — Kittanning middle and high schools and Ford City High School, all of which will close next summer.
Toy said he was unsure if he would bid on any of the other buildings and doesn’t plan to seek any further action toward buying Kittanning Township Elementary.
“I’m really disappointed with all of this,” Toy said. “But I understand the district has to move on.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or [email protected].