Education

School Board sells Washington School

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 15, 2019 2:50 pm

QUINCY -- A school building housing children for generations will continue providing for children and their needs.

The Quincy School Board, meeting in special session Monday morning, agreed to sell Washington School, 1400 N. Eighth, to Carl Douglas.

Douglas, a former Quincyan, and his wife Katie intend to open a preschool in the shuttered Washington building The couple operate a preschool called Little Angel's Child Care and Preschool in Mason City, Iowa, and hope to open Little Angel's Child Care and Preschool of Quincy in August.

"From four years ago when we were putting everything together, one thing we had to focus on was not just building new schools, but what to do with some of the other ones," Board President Sayeed Ali said. "The idea of potentially a childcare and daycare for the town of Quincy and the northwest quadrant (is something) everybody is really excited about."

Superintendent Roy Webb said Douglas hopes to close on the sale as soon as possible but needed the board action now to finalize things with the bank.

The Quincy City Council on July 1 approved a Plan Commission recommendation for a special permit allowing the preschool to operate in the former school building.

Douglas will buy the building for $200,000, the asking price for the building at an unsuccessful auction in October.

"That's the only way we could have done it without going back to auction," Webb said. "He had to meet the asking price from the last auction."

The district sold the shuttered Dewey School for $35,000, well above the $10,000 minimum price, at auction in October, but initially had no takers on Washington. At the School Board's June 26 meeting, Webb reported strong interest in Washington from a potential buyer.

"I think the happiest person in the district is probably Dane Barnes, our maintenance director. He's been working hard to make sure it's maintained, the lawn is cut and everything is in working order on the inside," Webb said.

With the sale, "it's less expense, and we'll be able to use that time spent elsewhere which is good for the district," Webb said.

The board in July expects to set dates and minimum bids to sell Adams, Berrian, Ellington and Madison schools which will no longer be needed when the new Thomas S. Baldwin and Sarah Atwater Denman Elementary Schools open in August.

"We're not going to drag our feet," Ali said. "We're ready to go."