A Missouri man has bought the historic Lawrenceville High School building for $37,000.
The much-anticipated auction was deemed a success by school officials, with the building and land sold during the first 20 minutes. Parrott Real Estate and Auction Company conducted the auction.
The "grand prize" winner was George Duncan, of north-central Missouri. Duncan was the highest bidder for the school building and 11 acres.
For his money, Duncan bought nearly 100 rooms and 173,000 square feet, constructed in six levels and sub-levels. Two gymnasiums, an auditorium, complete kitchen, elevator, wheelchair lift platform and more were included in the sale.
Duncan, who purchases school buildings throughout the United States through a company, Gold Nugget Properties LLC, of Meadville, Mo., was not physically at the auction, placing his bids via telephone.
His primary opponent during the bidding was Lawrenceville attorney and businessman Roscoe Cunningham.
An 8.42-acre tract behind the school, which included the football practice field and an adjoining brushy area, sold for $7,000. Kathy Balding was the winning bidder.
About 150-200 people were in the auditorium to witness the sale of the school and land.
Unit 20 board Chairman Shane Gray said he did not think the school would sell for a much as it did.
"I couldn't be more thrilled. This is Christmas all over. It's great," Gray said after the sale. "It was more than I anticipated. $37,000 is wonderful. It was good for the school district. I appreciate people biding on it."
After the real estate portion of the auction, there were three separate auctioning points, sale rings, with items being sold simultaneously throughout the building.
While the totals have not been finalized, Gray said the contents sold throughout the building will end up totalling about $32,000. Adding that to the real estate sales and the total from the auction came to about $76,000.
There were about 500 bidder cards issued with others attending with bidder-card holders. In all, the auction lasted about 6 1/2 hours, concluding about 3:45 p.m.
Winning bidders who did not take their items Saturday have 30 days to pick them up.
Hundreds of people walked the halls of the former high school for the last time Saturday.
While most were there for the auction, bidding on the plethora of desks, file cabinets, memorabilia and other items, many were there to visit their school, one more time.
One LHS grad drove more than 40 miles to walk from classroom to classroom, the way she did more than 30 years ago. Another remembered "busting many a milk carton" in the cafeteria, while still another was amazed at all of the offices, storage rooms and cubbyholes in the building.