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Middletown Area School Board approves appraisal for Kunkel Elementary

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/26/18

The Middletown Area School Board is seeking an appraisal of John C. Kunkel Elementary School, as well as for a property behind the middle school that caught fire in August.

The board voted Sept. …

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Middletown Area School Board approves appraisal for Kunkel Elementary

Posted

The Middletown Area School Board is seeking an appraisal of John C. Kunkel Elementary School, as well as for a property behind the middle school that caught fire in August.

The board voted Sept. 18 to hire Patrick Noone of Noone & Associates to conduct appraisals of Kunkel and 225 Oberlin Road for $3,250. The district has discussed the potential of renovating, expanding or building a new school at the Kunkel site at 2401 Fulling Mill Road.

Several months ago, Tom and Tiz Williams put their 239-acre farm up for sale, and part of the tract includes 33.11 acres that forms an “L” shape around Kunkel.

In August, Board President Linda Mehaffie said that she reached out to the Williams’ Realtor, saying that if a purchaser was interested in making an offer for the school, she would bring it to the board.

During the Sept. 18 meeting, two appraisers submitted proposals to appraise the properties. MASD Chief Financial Officer David Franklin told the board that the district told the appraisers that they were interested in two appraisals of Kunkel — one for the property as it is as an elementary school and an appraisal for what a buyer would want for the property if zoning were changed.

The district is interested in the second appraisal, Franklin said.

Board member Brian Keating asked what the rationale was for two appraisals.

“Nobody else is going to buy that and use it as a school,” he said.

He moved to get an appraisal for the school if it were rezoned and an appraisal for the Oberlin Road property, which caught fire in August. The appraisal would be for a potential purchase of the property. During a recent meeting, the board discussed the possibility of closing Fink and Kunkel elementary schools and building a new school on the campus. Keating’s motion was unanimously approved. Board members Jennifer Scott and Melvin Fager were not present.

Jim Koury of RSR Realtors, real estate agent for the Williams farm tract, told the Press & Journal that he’s working on an agreement for the tract surrounding Kunkel and several other people have looked at the largest parcel — a 152.08-acre tract that includes the farmhouse, which is on the other side of Fulling Mill Road.

During the Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners meeting on Sept. 19, resident Ed Halpern, who lives on Nissley Drive, asked staff what Kunkel is zoned.

Township Planning and Zoning Coordinator Ann Hursh said it was zoned residential agricultural.

“But it could be changed,” Halpern said.

“Oh, yes. Everything can be changed,” Commissioner Ron Paul said.

A change would have to come before the Board of Commissioners.