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Local News

No bids on Laraway School

Laraway School is seen Wednesday. No one bid on the school property during a recent auction.
Laraway School is seen Wednesday. No one bid on the school property during a recent auction.

No one put in a bid on Laraway School.

Laraway School District 70-C held a seven-week auction, taking bids on the school property starting at $5.75 million.

No one put in a bid by the Wednesday deadline.

The school board next week will consider a second auction and re-evaluate the minimum asking price, Laraway Superintendent Joe Salmieri said.

“We’ll discuss the parameters of the bid at the board meeting on Tuesday,” Salmieri said.

He called the lack of bids “a little disappointing” but said he was confident the school district would be able to sell the property.

“We think it’s a very appealing site, particularly for the zoning we’re seeking in the annexation,” Salmieri said.

District 70-C is in the process of annexing the 40 acres on Laraway Road to the city of Joliet and having it zoned for light industrial use. The zoning would fit the warehouse and distribution development that has sprung up around the school, leading to the need for it to relocate.

The school lies along the path of a busy semitrailer route leading to and from CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Joliet.

Voters in November approved a referendum allowing the school district to finance a new school under construction along Rowell Avenue. That school is scheduled to open in fall 2018.

Salmieri said the school district will consider a broader marketing strategy in the next auction and also will re-evaluate the minimum asking price. An appraisal for the school district valued the property at $5.5 million.

Construction of the new school was not contingent upon selling the old one.

If the school is not sold, it could affect some amenities, such as outdoor playing fields, planned for the new school, Salmieri said.

“It’s still early,” he said.

If the board agrees on a new auction next week, the next round could be completed by sometime in June, Salmieri said.

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